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IN 1832, 1833, AND 1834. 




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Columbus — Sodom — Fort Mitchell — A Dinner in the 
Forest — A Modern Spartan and Athenian — Visit to the In- 
dians in Alabama — Hut of a Chief — Hunting Party — De- 
based State of the Indians — Costume of a Chief — Indian 
Women — Religious Notions and Character of the Indians 

— An Indian Newspaper — Journey to Montgomery — A 
Kentucky Traveller ...... 1 


Montgomery — Departure for Mobile — Alabama River — 
Shipping Cotton — Mobile — Packing Cotton — Journey to 
New Orleans — Steamboat Conveyances — Lake Pontchartrain 

— New Orleans — The Levee — Inhabitants — Situation of the 

f—/^ ^"> r-» r->t f'% 


Cit\' — Sickness — Climate — Cholera and Yellow Fever — 
A Yankee Speculation — The 8th of January — House of Le- 
gislature . . . . . . . . 39 


Tlic Mississippi — Departure for Louisville — Steamboats 

— The Louisiana — Journey to Natchez — Journey to Mem- 
phis — Wood Stations — Squatters — Indians in United States 

— Memphis 72 


Continuation of the Journey up the Mississippi — Fire on 
Board the Steamboat — Passengers — Gamblers — A Night 
on the Mississippi — New Madrid — Mouth of the Ohio — 
Golconda — Names of Towns — The River Ohio — Louisville 
— Journey to Cincinnati — Letter of Benjamin Franklin — Cin- 
cinnati — Departure for Wheeling — Ohio River north of 
Cincinnati — Portsmouth — Great Kenhawa — Logan — Blen- 
nerhassett's Island — Wheeling — Departure for Washing- 
ton — Alleghany Mountains — Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road 107 


Washington — The President's House — The Capitol — 
The Hall of Representatives — The Senate Hall — Congress 

— Tariff — National Debt — American Statesmen — The Pre- 
sident's Drawing-room — Inauguration of the President 149 

Constitution of the United States — Misrepresentations of 


European Travellers — Manners and Customs in America — 
Departure for New York — Fires and Firemen — Fanati- 
cism . . . . . . . . . 172 


Prisons in the United States, and the new Penitentiary system 

— Prison at Singsing — Labour of Prisoners — Prison Disci- 
pline — Prisons at Wethersfield and Auburn — New Prison 

— Benefits of Solitary Confinement and Employment — Re- 
sults of the different Prisons . . . . .191 


The President's Person not sacred — Insult to the President 
— •- His Journey — His Reception in New York and Boston — 
Black Hawk in New York — Newport — Journey to Plymouth 

— Stage-coach Companions — Whisky-punch and Temperance 
Societies — Plymouth — Lowell — Cotton Manufactories — 
Factory-girls — The 4th of July — The 5th of July . 230 


Departure for Albany — Steamboats — Anecdote — Albany 
— Mohawk and Hudson Railroad — Canal, Bank, and Railroad 
Companies — Railroads in the United States — Schenectady 
and Saratoga Railroad — Ballston Spa — Saratoga Springs 254 


Departure for Schenectady — Canal-boats — An unpleasant 
Birth — History of a Backwoodsman — A Missionary — Jour- 
ney on Erie Canal — Little Falls — Utica — Trenton — Trenton 
Falls — Auburn — Geneva — Canandaigua — Rochester — 



Presbyterians — Genesee Fall — Sam Patch — Journey to 
Niagara — Lockport — Buffalo — Awful Storm . . 2*27 


Falls of Xiag-ara — Goat Island — Dimensions of the Falls 

— Cruel Amusement — Departure for Montreal — Queenston 

— Brock's Monument — Lake On'.ario — Oswego — Kingston 

— Rideau Canal — Prescott — An Indian Village . 312 


Montreal — Cathedral — Convents — Population — Emi- 
grants — Religion — Origin of the Name of Canada — Cana- 
dians, their Manners and Character — Departure for Quebec 

— Banks of the St. Lawrence — Quebec — Fortifications — Cape 
Diamond — View from Cape Diamond — Montmorency Falls 

— Chaudit^re Falls — Government of Canada — Condition of the 
Country — Departure for New York — Lake Champlain — 
Ticonderoga — Lake George — Caldwell — Glen Falls 332 


Mount Vernon — Quaker Wedding — Return to New York 

— Italian Opera — American Theatres and Performers — Fine 
Arts — Literature — Newspapers and Periodicals — Trades' 
Union — Militia System — Burlesque Procession — The Ame- 
rican Army — Taxes — Government Expenditure from 1822 
to 1833 354 


The United States' Bank and General Jackson — Removal 
of the Deposits — Consequences — Deputations — The Se- 


nate aud the President — Safety Fund System — Change 
in Pubhc Opinion — Whigs and Tories — State of the Post 
Office Department— Adjournment of Congress, 30th June, 
1834 — Tribute to the Memory of Lafayette — Departure for 
Europe 386 



IN 1832, 1833, AND 1834. 


The Indian, child of sorrow. 
Remnant of a mighty race ; 

Grief is his, no ray of gladness 
Beams upon his dwelling-place. 


On the eastern bank of the River Chata- 
hoochee is a small town called Columbus, 
which, founded so recently as the year 1828, 
has not yet attained so much celebrity as to 
have a place allotted to it in all the maps of 
the United States. Numbers of Americans 
know not that such a town exists. How 
often, during my residence in America, have 
I heard of towns sprung* up in the midst of 
wildernesses, with a population of one, two, 



or three thousand inhabitants, commerce 
and trades of various kinds, courthouses, 
stages and steamers, schools, churciies and 
prisons ; all as if created by magic ! Other 
towns disappear with the same rapidity : 
what in Europe is formed or undone in 
the lapse of ages is here effected in as many 
months. It is, therefore, a peculiar study to 
be acquainted with the names of all the 
towns, new-born or dead, in the course of a 
twelvemonth : it requires a memory equal to 
that of Mezzofanti of Bologna himself to re- 
member all. Columbus still ranks among the 
smaller towns, without any pretension to fame, 
though it may not be doomed to remain long- 
in obscurity. Its rapid increase in popu- 
lation, wealth, and trade, may probably soon 
bring it on the grand stage of the world. 

Captain Hall visited this place in 1828, 
about the period of its foundation. His de- 
scription is interesting when compared to 
what Columbus was four years and a half 
subsequently. A few extracts may not be 
unseasonable : 


"The first thing to which our attention 
was called was a long line cut through the 


coppice-wood of oaks. This our guide begged 
us to observe was to be the principal street ; 
and the brushwood having been cut away so 
as to leave a lane four feet wide, with small 
stakes driven in at intervals, we could walk 
along it easily enough. On reaching the 
middle point, our friend, looking around him, 
exclaimed in raptures at the prospect of the 
future greatness of Columbus : * Here you 
are in the centre of the city ! ' He assured us 
further, that, within a very short period, this 
pathway would be converted into a street 
sixty yards wide, and one league in length. 

" After threading our way for some time 
amongst the trees, we came in sight, here and 
there, of huts made partly of planks, partly of 
bark, and at last reached the principal cluster 
of houses, very few of which were above two 
or three weeks old. These buildings were of 
all sizes, from a six feet box or cube, to a 
house with half a dozen windows in front. 
There were three hotels, the sign belonging 
to one of which, I could observe, was nailed 
to a tree still growing untouched in the 
middle of the street. Another had glazed 
windows, but the panes of glass were fixed in 
their places, merely for the time, by a little 
piece of putty at each corner. Every tiling 

B 2 


indicated hurry. As none of the city-lots 
were yet sold, of course no one was sure that 
the spot upon which he had pitched his house 
would eventually become his own. Many of 
the houses were in consequence of this under- 
standing built on trucks, a sort of low strong- 
wheels, such as cannon are supported by, for 
the avowed purpose of being hauled away 
when the land should be sold. At least sixty 
frames of houses were pointed out to me, 
lying in piles on the ground ready to answer 
the call of future purchasers. At some parts 
of this strange scene, the forest, which here- 
about consists of a mixture of pines and 
oaks, was growing as densely as ever ; and 
even in the most cleared streets some trees 
were left standing. As yet there had been 
no time to remove the stumps of the felled 
trees, and many that had been felled were 
left in their places; so that it was occa- 
sionally no easy matter to get along. Anvils 
were heard ringing away merrily at every 
corner ; while saws, axes, and hammers, were 
seen flashing amongst the woods all round." 

COLUMBUS, 1832. 

The situation of the town is on the confines 
of Georgia and Alabama, and on the river 


Chatahoochee*, which is navigable as far as 
the G ulph of Mexico. This river, on which four 
steamers are continually plying, has been of 
such infinite advantage to this place, that it 
may already be called a flourishing town. 
The population exceeded two thousand, and 
among them were several that might be 
denominated wealthy. The number of the 
inhabitants was augmenting monthly, and 
the increase of commerce, I was assured, was 
in the same proportion. Carpenters, masons, 
and workmen of every kind, were never 
without employment, and could not erect 
houses fast enough. Streets, which in 1828 
were only marked out, were now so filled 
with loaded waggons that it was next to im- 
possible to pass. The principal street which 
traverses the' city, following the course of the 
river, is, like the rest, not paved, but has so 
many shops filled with a variety of goods, 
such a number of neat houses, and, finally, in 
the mornings such a concourse of people. 
Christians and Indians, that it can hardly 
be believed that it is the same street which 
was only marked out in 1828. Most of the 

* Chatahoochee is an Indian name, which signifies flowered 
stones, on account of the quantity of stones of various colours found 
at the bottom of this river. I have several specimens of them in my 


houses were of wood, and some of brick : a 
few in the English style, others again in the 
Grecian taste. The hotels are, perhaps, the 
worst buildings in the town: 1 resided in 
one, the staircase of which bore a strong re- 
semblance to a fire-ladder, and the bed-room, 
although provided with window-frames, had 
no panes of glass in them. 

Commerce is also on the increase, and will 
be still more flourishing, when the neigh- 
bouring tract of land in Alabama, bought by 
the State from the Indians, but which they 
had not yet quitted, is brought into cultiva- 
tion. At the northern extremity of the town, 
the river forms several falls, which are made 
available for working cotton-factories. The 
goods are conveyed by the steamers to a sea- 
port at the mouth of the river called Apala- 
chicola, where they are re-shipped for ex- 

The manners of the people were uncouth 
to a degree, which made it equally dis- 
agreeable and hazardous for a civilized person 
to remain in Columbus. Many individuals, 
there called gentlemen, would in other places 
receive a very different appellation. The 
proximity of the Indian territory on the other 
side of the river contributed not a little to 


the toleration among* the inhabitants of a 
certain number of loose persons, on which 
account morals were at the lowest ebb. 
Opposite to the town, on the Alabama shore, 
a number of dissolute people had founded 
a village, for which their lawless pursuits 
and atrocious misdeeds had procured the 
name of Sodom. Scarcely a day passed 
without some human blood being shed in its 
vicinity ; and, not satisfied with murdering 
each other, they cross the river clandestinely, 
and pursue their bloody vocation even in Co- 
lumbus. Peaceable citizens are thus often 
attacked, not only in the streets or in the 
woods, but in their own houses : in vain do 
they look for reparation or protection from 
the authorities of the town. The delinquents 
of Sodom are exempt from all prosecution, 
their village being situated on the Indian ter- 
ritory, and as such under no control. Teme- 
rity, courage, and boldness, alone command 
respect from these banditti : mildness, virtue, 
and beauty, are in their eyes so many con- 
temptible attributes, which they conceive they 
have a right to violate with impunity. The 
manner of living has meanwhile, by the fre- 
quent occurrence of these atrocities, acquired 
a degree of insecurity, which obliges every 


one to carry arms about his person, and 
to be prepared for defence at a moment's 

When laws have so little power to protect 
the lives of citizens, necessity makes it obli- 
gatory to obtain justice by personal efforts ; 
and, when this alternative unfortunately oc- 
curs, passions generally gain the ascendency, 
and, as 'a consequence, the contest on both 
sides too often terminates in blood. The 
most trifling difference not unfrequently occa- 
sions murders of the blackest dye, and when 
the crime is consummated, the offender hastens 
across the river to Sodom, boasting of his 
deed, and scoffing at the lamentations of the 
relations and friends of the murdered victim. 
I saw in this village persons whose looks be- 
spoke the assassin : even Paestum in Calabria 
cannot produce similar monsters. With such 
neighbours, it certainly is not surprising 
that the citizens of Columbus should preserve 
a certain uncouthness of manners, peculiar to 
a place that has just sprung up in a forest, 
])ut which, from its rapid progress, ought to 
have already disappeared, if the vicinity of 
Sodom had not to a certain degree retarded 
the advance of civilization. As soon as the 
Indians have retired from this part of the 


country, and the State of Alabama can en- 
force the observance of her laws, even in the 
remotest districts, it is to be hoped that the 
scum of mankind now occupying Sodom will 
be reduced to obedience and submission ; 
and not till then will Columbus see her own 
population happy and tranquil, and civiliza- 
tion diffusing its light among her citizens. 

After remaining in this town a few days, 
I continued my journey towards the West in 
a carriage drawn by one horse, accompanied 
by a boy seven years old as guide. No road 
in all America can be compared with that 
between Columbus and Fort Mitchell. I had 
often been told that this was the worst piece 
of ground in the Southern States, and this 
account I found, by woeful experience, to 
be by no means exaggerated : it is a real 
matter of surprise how a vehicle can move 
forward one hundred yards. Too often I lost 
every trace of the road, and had to guess the 
path by certain incisions in the bark of thick 
fir-trees. On one occasion, the highway 
leading over a dilapidated old bridge, pro- 
bably throv^n across by the Indians, both 
horse and carriage were precipitated into the 
river, and it was a miracle that we were not 


Fort Mitchell is a small fort thrown up in 
the middle of a wood, with a few barracks, 
where the Federal Government generally main- 
tains a company of soldiers to keep the neigh- 
bouring Indians in check. This garrison had, 
shortly before my arrival, received orders to 
break up and march towards South Carolina, 
the Nullification party having about this time 
assumed a threatening attitude. Fort Mitchell 
was, therefore, for the present evacuated ; but 
a young Indian, who had probably for a long 
while regarded the white-skinned strangers 
with feelings of dislike, now determined to be 
revenged, and had taken formal possession of 
the fort. I saw him for some time with a 
musket on his shoulder, march to and fro 
between the barracks, as if mounting guard. 
Woe to him who approached ! No more would 
the rays of the sun have shone on any one who 
ventured to dispute the right of possession. 
My young guide amused himself with ap- 
proaching within pistol-shot, but returned 
immediately, the Indian having already cocked 
his gun ; and he would infallibly have sent 
the timorous enemy to another world had he 
not taken to his heels in time. 

Towards noon I arrived at a small hut, 
where a few dozen intoxicated Indians had 


assembled, and were engaged in bartering* 
several fine deer, recently killed, for a certain 
quantity of whisky. They were in a state of 
insensibility from the effect of liquor long 
before the bargain was concluded ; and the 
conscientious white merchant adroitly availed 
himself of their situation, to turn the ex- 
change to his own advantage. Never, as- 
suredly, had whisky brought a higher price, 
or deer been so depreciated in value. Both 
parties, however, appeared satisfied with the 
contract, and separated peaceably. 

In this hut, the only one for a distance of 
twenty miles in the wood, preparations were 
made for dinner, the most singular of its kind 
1 ever sat down to. In the middle of the 
table was placed a bottle of whisky, of which 
both host and hostess partook in no measured 
quantity, before they tasted any of the dishes. 
Pigs' feet pickled in vinegar formed the first 
course ; then followed bacon with molasses ; 
and the repast concluded with a superabund- 
ance of milk and bread, which the landlord, 
to use his ovv^n expression, washed down with 
half a tumbler of whisky. The landlady, a 
real Amazon, was not a little surprised to see 
a person refusing such a delicacy as bacon 
swimming in molasses, and shrugged her 


shoulders at my perverted taste. But when, 
soon afterwards, I also declined eating* the 
black bread soaked in whisky, her astonish- 
ment had no ])ounds : she lost all patience, 
and declared that such treatment was beyond 
endurance, after she had taken the trouble to 
cook for strangers. Little pleased with each 
other, we separated ; for my part, I felt no 
desire ever to return to this habitation, and 
was happy when the wood at length inter- 
cepted this miserable hovel from my view. 

Night approaching, I arrived at another 
hut of nearly the same kind. On entering 
the only room, I perceived two other travellers 
warming themselves at a large fire, in atti- 
tudes perfectly corresponding with Trollopian 
reminiscences. Rocking backward and for- 
ward on wooden chairs, they had fixed their 
dirty feet against the fire-place, almost in a 
horizontal direction with their eyes, and 
amused themselves with spitting continually 
in the fire. Their costume was not recherche : 
it consisted in extremely large inexpressibles, 
grey woollen stockings, short boots with long- 
iron spurs, frock-coats with pockets on the 
sides, in which their hands were continually 
concealed, lov/ cravats, high loose collars, 
which hid half the ears, and a soft dark 


brown beaver hat, so formed that it fitted in 
whatever shape it was put on the head. There 
was something- excessively characteristic in 
the whole exterior of these individuals ; and 
when, in addition, I discovered the haughty 
and aristocratic air with which they conde- 
scended to look at the last arrived stranger, 
I entertained very little doubt that they were 
men of the highest consequence in the State. 
Had I by chance met these great seigneurs at 
a lonely posthouse in the Scandinavian Pen- 
insula, I should unquestionably have taken 
them for some petty functionaries assuming 
the importance of office ; but, meeting them 
in the United States, and particularly in an 
almost uninhabited part, what could I pos- 
sibly surmise but that they v/ere aspirants to 
some high dignity ? They honoured me with 
a glance, and commenced conversation in the 
usual way, by informing me, what I already 
knew, that the weather had in the course of 
the day been extremely mild and agreeable. 
This old-fashioned beginning, however, led to 
a more familiar conversation respecting the 
institutions of the Southern States, their com- 
merce, and the state of politics, on which sub- 
jects they appeared to have clear and just 
notions, expressing their views in terms I 


little expected to hear in the woods of Ala- 
bama, and which excited my curiosity to 
know more particularly to whom I had the 
honour of speaking. At length, when mid- 
night drew near, and the almost extinguished 
fire gave us warning to retire to rest, I mus- 
tered courage and asked the one nearest me 
whence he came. " I am from Sparta," an- 
swered he; ''and I from Athens," rejoined 
the other. I remained silent, for the classi- 
cal names of their places of nativity formed 
a singular contrast with their unclassical 
figures. A few minutes' silence was sufficient 
to consign the Spartan as well as the Athe- 
nian to a comfortable sleep. 

At daybreak the whole house was again in 
motion. The two travellers continued their 
route to the south, and I, intending to steer 
my course among the Indians, proceeded in 
an opposite direction. Provided with a pretty 
accurate description of the woods and swamps 
1 had to traverse, I mounted my horse without 
any other guide than a poor Indian, expelled 
from his tribe, who, for a trifling remuneration, 
engaged to conduct me to the residence of a 
certain Indian chief, a day and a half's journey 
distant. The country presented no variety : 
the dark and dismal forests appeared endless. 


Here and there I met a few scattered Creek 
Indians, who, like myself, followed the in- 
cisions in the trees ; but they never showed 
any symptoms of hostility to the Whites. 
They appeared, on the contrary, well disposed, 
and always bowed and muttered something in 
a low tone, which my guide never failed to re- 
turn, and which he afterwards told me signi- 
fied '' Peace be with you!" Once only T met 
with a little resistance from an Indian, who 
seized the bridle of my horse and drew his 
bow ; but, no sooner had my guide informed 
him that I was unarmed, and that I conse- 
quently placed myself under the safeguard of 
the Red Men, than he dropped his weapon 
and wished me a prosperous journey. 

At night we bivouacked on a hill, making up 
a large fire that lasted all night. The sad and 
wild shouts of the Indians in the wood did 
not cease till morning ; and the effect of the 
reverberation between the trees more than 
once deceived me as to the distance of these 
savages. More experienced than myself, my 
guide shook his head each time I told him to 
listen to the sound, which to me appeared 
quite near. In the usual Indian way, he 
threw himself on the ground, to listen if any 
one approached, and then fell asleep as com- 


posedly as if he had been in his own bed. 
The stump which served us as a pillow was 
to his taste a soft and pleasant cushion, and 
the ground a bed to which he had been ac- 
customed from infancy. Thus passed the 

At dawn we continued our journey; and, 
before the sun had reaciied the meridian, 
I stopped at a solitary hut, the wished-for 
end of my excursion. At the door stood an 
elderly man ; it was the chief himself, who, on 
being made acquainted with the object of my 
visit, hastened to show me every mark of 
hospitality. He had, in the course of his 
life, been several times at Washington, and 
was besides, as chief of his tribe, in constant 
communication with the Whites, by which 
means he had acquired sufficient knowledge 
of the English language to make out what 
was said to him. Introduced into the hut, 
I soon found myself in the midst of six 
women and a host of children, the greater 
part wrapped in blankets and lying on the 
floor, while others had scarcely any covering : 
they were engaged in mending bows and 
cutting weeping willows. The arrival of a 
stranger suspended their occupation for a 
moment; but, as Indians never betray any 


symptoms of surprise, however astonished 
they may in reahty be, they soon subdued 
their childish curiosity, and continued their 
work with perfect indifference. The women 
remained motionless on the floor, as little 
concerned as if a daily visiter had arrived. In 
order to take possession of the place which 
had been assigned to me in a corner, it was 
absolutely necessary to step over the females 
stretched in every direction. The old man 
led the way without their taking any notice 
of him, and I followed his example in pro- 
found silence. I thought at first he had 
brought me into an hospital, and that the in- 
dividuals present were so many unfortui-ate 
beings of his own race, humanely taken care 
of, for the purpose of being cured : this 
seemed the more probable, as Indian chiefs 
are generally both warriors and physicians. 
But how great was my surprise when, with 
his usual composure, he informed me that all 
these six ordinary and disagreeable females 
were his wives, and the swarm of children Iiis 
offspring ! In truth, a respectable number 
for a single man to take charge of! And 
what a collection of ugly and dirty faces ! 
The oldest would, in no part of tlie civilized 
world, have passed for any thing but a witch, 

VOL. II. c 


and the youngest, about twenty years of 
age, considered as a beauty among the Tn- 
clians, was so repulsive, that I considered 
myself not a little fortunate to be seated near 
the door. 

This palace of an Indian chief was built of 
logs, loosely laid one upon another, and 
nailed at the ends, between which the wind 
had free access : these crevices were neces- 
sary in every respect, particularly for the 
admission of light, windows being absolutely 
unknown. Instead of a boarded floor, the 
ground itself was strewed with sand. The 
house was parted off into two divisions, form- 
ing one room on each side of the entrance. 
The furniture consisted of three wooden 
chairs of the simplest construction, an old 
table, and a clock, such as itinerant hawkers 
are in the habit of selling. But where was 
the kitchen ? will probably be asked by some 
careful housekeeper. I put the same ques- 
tion to my host, and received for answer that 
when hungry I must be my own cook, and 
make use of the fire in the yard. Necessity 
has no law : she makes every thing of man. 
Where no forks are to be had, the fingers 
must serve as a substitute. These Indians 
had no fixed hour for their meals ; but every 


one helped himself when he felt hungry, with- 
out regarding the hour. One of the women 
got up in the middle of the night to appease 
her cravings, by taking a bit of venison, 
which she cut out of a dead deer, and roasted 
at the fire. After finishing her repast, at 
which the luxury of forks was not introduced, 
she returned to rest. 

As soon as it grew dark, the whole family 
went to bed, that is, laid themselves down on 
the ground. They had no particular place : 
some were lying in groups, others at short 
distances apart. My host had allotted to 
me a corner in the adjoining room as a 
resting place, and fixed outside the house 
a torch, made of a piece of wood impregnated 
with rosin, I know not for what reason ; this 
circumstance, however, was of no little assist- 
ance to me, as it enabled me to survey the 
group of beings that slept under the same 
roof. Nearest to me were eight children, 
some sleeping together, and behind them two 
of the wives with six other children, placed 
across them in rows. The remaining members 
of the family, together with the aged chief him- 
self, occupied the other room, where, in the 
course of the night, a violent contest arose 
between two of the females, which for a while 

C 2 


threatened the most serious consequences. It 
was soon quelled by the interference of the 
half sleepy and highly-excited husband, who 
issued his commands in no very measured ex- 
pressions or tone of voice. In my immediate 
vicinity luckily no similar scene occurred ; 
but a nursery, with all its accompaniments, 
has other inconveniences not less unpleasant. 
One of the children in particular honoured 
the company with an extremely discordant 
concert, divided into several parts, commen- 
cing- at sunset and lasting till sunrise. The 
mother had, no doubt, often heard the same 
music performed, and was not in the least 
disturbed by it ; so that the harmony con- 
tinued without interruption, till the little 
musical urchin, hoarse and fatigued by exer- 
tion, ceased his notes. But this was not the 
only disagreeable circumstance; the continual 
motion and restlessness of the children added 
another, namely, contact with these dirty 
young brats. My patience was at last ex- 
hausted, and I was obliged to retire from the 
scene, which I did without being perceived by 
any one. The night was so clear and serene, 
that I lay down in the open passage, await- 
ing the approach of dawn. 

The principal occupation of Indians con- 


sists in hunting' stags and deer. An5vious to 
attend one of these hunts, I availed myself of 
the opportunity of accompanying, on the fol- 
lowing day, the chief and four other Indians, 
who went upon one of these excursions. We 
all mounted horses, and provided ourselves 
with rifles ; some of them had also a kind of 
spear or lance, which they handled with a 
dexterity that would have astonished even a 
Hetman of Cossacks. The horses were small, 
but full of fire, not unlike northern ponies and 
the Canadian breed ; and could hardly be 
checked when once put in motion. Indians 
generally ride without a saddle ; but the 
old man had furnished himself and me with 
something bearing a resemblance to this con- 
venient appendage : it was a saddle - tree, 
which was stuffed with hay, and fastened on 
the back of the horse with two strong cords. 
We had scarcely mounted before the horses 
showed symptoms of wild restlessness. The 
chief led the way, and pushed his steed into 
the thickest part of the wood : I followed him, 
and then came the other Indians, one by one. 
In vain did I several times try to urge my 
horse out of the track of the first, and to 
make the others deploy on the ground : the 
animal remained perfectly insensible to all 


my efforts on the mouth as well as oh the 
loins, and continued blindly to follow the 
steps of the leader. Neither swamps, bushes, 
prostrate trees, nor rivulets, arrested our 

The Indians kept their seats as if they 
had never been off" the back of a horse : all 
their motions were graceful, and bespoke 
a steadiness which would have obliged an 
equerry to yield the palm of horsemanship to 
these untaught cavaliers. Although unpro- 
vided with stirrups, I often observed them 
lean on one side to avoid contact with 
branches or bushes, and preserve their equi- 
librium merely by pressure against the loins 
of the horse ; otherwise their bodies were con- 
stantly in a perpendicular position, without 
appearing stiff" to the eye. In one hand they 
held the reins, and a gun, always cocked, 
in the other — a circumstance by no means 
pleasant to the person riding* before. The 
hounds, a hundred yards ahead, had mean- 
while commenced barking, a sound at all 
times delightful to the ears of a sportsman : 
we followed them as closely as possible, mak- 
ing circles in the wood of no small diameter, 
anxious not to lose the traces of the stags. 
Within an hour from the time of starting, 


two balls had already done their duty, felling' a 
couple of stags to the ground : they were im- 
mediately cut up, and the entrails taken out 
and given to the dogs, after which the bodies 
were thrown across the horses' backs. The 
Indians seated themselves on the lifeless deer, 
and we returned home with the same swift- 
ness that we had come, for the purpose, as 
they said, of making the flesh tender prepa- 
ratory to eating it. 

The North American Indians, still found 
in the woods east of the Mississippi, have, 
from their contiguity to the Whites, nearly 
lost all the virtuous qualities of the ^' Red 
Men," whilst imbibing all the vicious habits 
and propensities of civilized man. One cannot 
help being struck with the appearance of the 
hideous figures, living and wandering about 
in the neighbourhood of some of the southern 
towns, dressed in rags, carelessly thrown 
around them. Ruined by an inordinate pas- 
sion for strong liquors, they sell, under its 
influence, the very country for which their 
ancestors fought, and have no other ambition 
than that of passing through life in a perpetual 
state of delirium. The poison undermines 
constitutions naturally strong : their frames 
become enervated, their eyes are continually 


half-closed: and these are the men at whose 
very name the white invaders formerly trem- 
bled — who never appeared without spread- 
ing; desolation and death around — these men, 
I say, are now objects of commiseration — 
beggars instead of commanders. How de- 
spicable they appear to the calm spectator, who 
attached to the word Indian every thing that 
was cruel, and yet every thing that was noble 
and grand ! Many a European visiting the 
United States re-crosses the Atlantic under 
the impression, produced by meeting intoxi- 
cated Indians on the highway, or in some of 
the newly settled towns, that this race of men, 
as described in old records of America, is to- 
tally extinct in the northern parts of that 
continent; that those still remaining are all 
like the miserable objects so frequently met 
with on the roads in the Southern States, and 
whose appearance is so revolting to the feel- 
ings of the philanthropist. This conclusion, 
although very general, is far from harmo- 
nizing with my observations. 

Is it just to judge of the character of a 
whole nation by a few dissolute, and probably 
expelled, individuals? Just so with the In- 
dians. It is not the outcasts seen begging 
on the roads and in the towns that constitute 


the Indian race: men are yet to be found 
(they were at least in 1832) in the woods of 
Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi, who, 
although of a sanguinary disposition, still 
inspire respect ; who have the common fail- 
ings of Indians, but also a portion of their 
virtues. Of the tribes then inhabiting these 
States, the Choctaws had undergone the 
greatest change, and had suffered most from 
immoderate indulgence in ardent spirits: then 
follow the Creeks, whom I visited; the Chick- 
asaws and Cherokees still preserving their 
original character, costume, and manners. 
The emigration of Whites to their neighbour- 
hood had already begun to produce a baneful 
effect on the latter : one alternative only re- 
mained to save these children of the forest 
from being destroyed by what they call ''fire- 
water," and of this they took advantage, 
when fleeing from civilization, and concealing 
themselves in wild regions to the West of the 
Mississippi. These removals took place in 
the course of the next and in the beginning 
of the following year. 

Each race has one or several chiefs, dis- 
tinguished by undaunted courage and bravery. 
They are generally handsome, having some- 
thing royal in their looks and noble in their 


carriage, and are attired with more taste and 
care than other Indians. Some are wealthy, 
having' even a number of slaves, with whom 
they traffic, or whom they employ in culti- 
vating fields of Indian corn, adjoining their 
wigwams. My host had more than twenty 
Negroes, besides numberless Negro-women, 
who, by his own account, might any day be 
sold to itinerant slave-dealers for at least 
seven or eight thousand dollars. A chief 
possesses authority only so long as he is able 
to inspire the multitude with respect; that 
once lost, his life is no longer safe. His duty 
is to administer justice among his vassals, to 
deliver speeches at their meetings, to give 
advice to those who require it, and to head 
their warriors in case of hostilities. 

The old man, at whose house I lodged, was 
by nature endowed with the qualifications 
necessary to produce effect on an Indian mul- 
titude, and to keep it within bounds : he spoke 
little, but, when he did, his sentences were 
short and abrupt, and the words calculated 
to make impression. He never uttered any 
thing without adding a comparison equally 
poetical and striking, and chiefly derived 
from the nearest objects, such as streams, 
rivulets, woods, stars, sun, and moon. His 


daily costume varied very little from that of 
other Indians, it was only rather cleaner and 
more soigne; but, upon grand occasions, when 
meetings were held, or when going to battle, 
he adorned his head with a variety of fea- 
thers, threw a shooting-bag, richly set with 
mock pearls, across his shoulders, fastened an 
equally rich belt round his waist, painted his 
face with different colours, and brandished the 
redoubtable tomahawk which had long been 
laid aside. His ordinary costume consisted 
of a turban of red or blue cotton stuff, one 
end of which, trimmed with white fringe, hung 
down over the left ear. The breast and neck 
were bare : on his feet he wore yellow mo- 
cassins, garnished with mock pearls. The legs, 
from the knee to the instep, were covered with 
yellovv leggings of skin, fastened round the calf 
by garters, also embroidered with mock pearls, 
and from which hung yellow and blue fringe 
on the outside of the leg. Next his skin, he 
wore a kind of apron fastened before and be- 
hind by a tight belt; over this a blue calico 
shirt, trimmed with white cotton lining, 
formed into festoons both at bottom and 
round the chest ; about the waist was another 
belt, and over the whole a blanket, which he 
carried like a preux Chevalier of old. 


The other Indians had generally neither 
leggings nor mocassins : I often found them 
with no other covering than blankets. The 
women wore red or blue-striped petticoats, 
reaching half-way down the leg, trimmed 
with white fringe : the legs were bare as well 
as the feet. Some of them wore skins across 
the shoulders, but the greater part had white 
sheets, even blankets, in which they wrapped 
themselves. Their long and jet-black hair 
hung in disorder and uncombed round the 
face ; indeed, they bestowed no care whatever 
upon it. The ears were decorated with rings, 
often six in a row, which began at the upper 
part, and continued to the extremity of the 
ear. Frequently I saw some of these dam- 
sels with silver or brass rings through the 

Indians are generally tall, well-made, and 
robust. They are erroneously called Red 
Men ; their colour being copper- brown, far 
from red. Their large black eyes sparkle 
with fire: the nose is straight and well-formed, 
but all have high cheek-bones. Like the 
women, their hair is jet black and straight, 
flowing over the shoulders, and giving to the 
face a wildness of expression which it does 
not otherwise possess. Their motions are 


pleasing*: I never could sufficiently admire 
their graceful attitude, while standing and 
placing one leg across the other. 

The women, in general, may be called ugly, 
and always appear dejected, sombre, and 
sleepy. I never saw one of them smile. 
This absence of vivacity, invariably an attri- 
bute of the fair sex, may be easily accounted 
for, if the condition of the Indian women is 
taken into consideration. They are treated 
as subordinate beings, slaves, with whom the 
husband may do what he pleases, and never 
inspire him with any of those lofty and noble 
sentiments peculiar to civilized man. I do 
not mean to say that Indians are strangers to 
love ; but their love is only a wild sensuality, 
which, once satiated, gives place to contempt. 
The number of wives is not limited, provided 
they can maintain them. Parents give away 
their daughters to the first comer, without 
even asking them if the choice is agreeable 
to their feelings. Marriage ceremonies are 
entirely out of the question : as soon as the 
bride enters the house of the bridegroom, she 
is considered his wife, and, from that moment, 
his slave. 

The Indian looks upon labour as debasing, 
even if he be doomed to beg. This opinion 
is so prevalent, that if an individual has any 



other occupation than that of hunting- and 
roving', he is expelled as a contemptible 
being, or is unceremoniously scalped by tra- 
velling companions. Necessity sometimes 
compels them to enter the service of a White; 
but this is only resorted to at a great distance 
from other Indians. Stretched on the ground, 
the master gives his commands to his wives 
and Negroes, respecting the cultivation of his 
fields and the concerns of the house. These 
never hesitate to obey, well knowing that dis- 
obedience would be severely and instanta- 
neously punished, and that the husband is 
amenable to no laws. Upon one occasion 
only is the unhappy wife allowed to address 
her lord otherwise than in the quality of 
slave — it is when the husband is intoxicated, 
and unconsciously seeks a quarrel. Here the 
subdued Indian woman shows that she is 
intitled to respect from her spouse : here she 
shows that degrading slavery has not altoge- 
ther stifled the natural mildness of her sex. 
She invariably succeeds in parting the drunken 
men, who, left to themselves, would otherwise 
kill each other. For this act of generosity, 
what is her reward ? Contempt, unmitigated 
contempt, when the husband recovers his 

I had frequent conversations witli my host 


on the subject of the religious creed of In- 
dians, with a view to obtain some clearer 
ideas and better information on the subject ; 
but all I could elucidate from his answers 
was, what I already knew, that the Indians 
believe in a Divine Spirit, who rules over the 
world, and that the dead go to the abode of 
their deceased forefathers in the West, where, 
in the bosom of the Great Spirit, they enjoy 
happiness proportionate to their good or evil 
actions on earth. They are absolutely igno- 
rant of the sacredness of the Sabbath, and 
cannot conceive why man should be more 
pious on that day than any other. " My 
Sunday is to-day, to-inorrow, the day after 
to-morrow," said the old chief to me; " the 
sun rises one morning as well as the next : 
why should we make any difference in our 
worship, when the worshipped himself is al- 
ways the same ?" 

Revenge is permitted among them ; the 
law of retribution being strictly observed. 
Not only must they have blood for blood ; they 
even go farther in their vindictive ideas: if 
a white man, for instance, kills an Indian, 
either his blood or that of any other white 
man must atone for the crime. Happily, this 
vindictiveness does not prevent them from 


possessing many mild and peaceable qualities, 
hardly reconcileable in the same person with 
the vice just mentioned. Nothing is more 
sacred with an Indian than the rites of hos- 
pitality : he will rather lose life than permit 
these laws to be infringed. Even his most 
inveterate enemy finds protection under his 
roof, if he throws himself freely and with full 
confidence into his power, appealing' to the 
laws of hospitality. 

I happened to visit these Indians at an 
inauspicious moment, a misunderstanding 
having for some time prevailed between one 
of their race and a white emigrant, which 
was said to have been amicably adjusted, 
though not altogether to the satisfaction of 
the injured Indian. This Indian came, in 
company with several others, to the residence 
of the chief, the day after my arrival. As 
soon as the old man saw him, he ordered me 
in a commanding tone to go into the other 
room of the hut, informing me, at the same 
time, that, if I set my foot outside the door 
before he had given his permission, he would 
not answer for my safety. I learned after- 
wards the cause of this unexpected command, 
which was, that he feared the Indian would, 
at the sight of a white man, be unable to 


subdue his thirst for revenge. My prison 
was not so confined but that I could see 
every thing that passed outside the house; 
the walls having, as I before observed, large 
apertures, through which I perceived every 
motion of those who had just arrived. 

Round a large fire, continually burning out- 
side the house, the Indians seated themselves on 
the ground, cross-legged, in the Turkish man- 
ner : the men were nearest to the fire, and the 
women and children behind, wrapped in blan- 
kets and shivering with cold. They conversed a 
long while in short and half broken sentences, 
intermixed with cries not unlike the neighing 
of a horse : in these they were joined by the 
women, who added their soft voices to theirs. 
At last the whisky-bottle began to circulate, 
and, once put in motion, it was impossible to 
check its progress. Night came on, but still 
none felt disposed to retire, the hospitable 
landlord never permitting the bottle to remain 
empty; the consequence was, that all the 
men became intoxicated, and began howling 
and gesticulating in a manner which surpas- 
sed anything I had ever heard or seen. I 
often thought that they would kill each other, 
and this would probably have happened had 
not the women interfered, and succeeded in 



parting' the combatants. Thus they con- 
tinued till morning', when one after another 
departed under the guidance of the females. 
The scene was unique, and highly interest- 
ing to me. The variety of colours, the wild 
howling of the men and the slavish looks of 
the women, the loneliness of the wood, the 
dark shades of the night, and the flames of 
the fire — all left a deep impression on my 
mind of Indian hospitality. 

Before I take leave of this subject, I must 
not omit mentioning, as a singular circum- 
stance, that in New Echota, a small place 
situated in the northern part of the State of 
Georgia, a journal is published in the English 
and Cherokee language. The publisher is 
a native Indian, belonging to the Cherokee 
race, the manners and characteristics of which 
are immediately recognised. He had already 
attained a certain age, when he invented 
the letters of the language, having no know- 
ledge of any other but his own ; the idea 
of writing Cherokee only struck him on 
hearing several Whites one day boast of their 
superiority over the Indians, and adding, that 
they could do many things which the Red 
Men never dared attempt, particularly in com- 
mitting to paper a conversation, so as to 


make it understood by all even in the most 
distant parts. He was mortified that he could 
not refute this, or at least that he could not 
show that the Indians were as capable of 
doing' extraordinary things as the Whites. 

He determined, however, to try if it was not 
possible. At first, he saw no other chance of 
executing his project than to make a sign or 
figure for every sound, which he partly learnt 
by heart himself, partly gave to his own fa- 
mily to learn and remember ; but, after work- 
ing at it a whole twelvemonth, he found that 
the number of signs already amounted to 
several thousands, and that it was impossible 
to retain them in the memory. He now began 
to divide the words into parts, and then dis- 
covered that the same syllables might be ap- 
plied to a variety of words. Exulting in this 
discovery, he continued his exertions with 
unremitting zeal, and directed his attention 
particularly to the sounds, and thus dis- 
covered at last all the syllables in the lan- 
guage. After working upon this plan for a 
month, he had diminished the number of 
sounds to eighty-five, of which the language 
at present consists. He first wrote them in 
sand, afterwards cut out the signs in wood, 
and finished by printing them such as they 

D 2 


now are in the Journal called the Cherokee 

On the third day, T left my hospitable 
landlord, taking leave of him and his nu- 
merous family, probably for ever. The old 
man hinted an intention of crossing the At- 
lantic, to visit the Redcoats, by which he 
meant the English ; but this project, like 
many others, was a mere whim of the mo- 
ment, and will never be carried into execu- 
tion. He has now probably removed to some 
of the woods west of the Mississippi, instead 
of going to Europe ; and from that retire- 
ment he is not likely to venture for the pur- 
pose of visiting an unknown civilized world. 
He followed me, in the mean time, for a con- 
siderable distance, repeating, in his charac- 
teristic language, how much friendship the 
Red Man felt for the White, and in what fra- 
ternal concord they would now pursue their 
way through life. When I parted from him, 
he muttered a farewell in the Indian language, 
and turned his horse with the rapidity of 
lightning. Again alone with my Indian 
guide, I directed my course southward, with 
a view to get into a road leading to Mont- 
gomery, where I arrived about dusk on the 
following day, having met with no other ad- 


ventures but such as I have already described 
in my visit to the Indian chief. 

T passed the next night in a hut, at which 
another traveller had just arrived. He was 
a jovial and talkative man, returning' home 
on horseback, from a journey of several hun- 
dred miles, to Kentucky, whither he had gone 
to visit his mother, with whom he had spent 
several weeks. He gave me some valuable 
information respecting the soil and state of 
agriculture in the Southern States, a subject 
with which he appeared quite familiar ; but 
his conversation was not confined to these 
topics: he also enlarged on politics, with a 
perspicuity and clearness seldom to be met 
with in persons residing in woods and de- 
serts, several hundred miles from any civi- 
lized part of the country. He had not only a 
perfect knowledge of the constitution of his 
own State, its leading men, and their princi- 
ples, but was thoroughly acquainted with the 
component parts of the Federal Government, 
its prerogatives and duties, the qualifications 
and faults of President Jackson, the senti- 
ments of every member of Congress, and the 
calculations and plans of different parties. 
Such men are often found in the United 
States : it is not a dazzling exterior, or refined 


manners, which distinguish the man of intel- 
lect in that country : the greatest politician 
is often seen in the simplest garb, and politics 
are discussed in the remotest hut in the 
woods. More than once did I meet in the 
Western States with persons who went by 
the name of *' half horse and half alligator,"* 
and in Europe would have been called vaga- 
bonds, yet possessing accurate information 
concerning the government and the politics 
of the country. 

On the following morning I took my seat 
in the stage for Montgomery, and parted 
with my new acquaintance, who, on bidding 
me farewell, with a frankness and disinter- 
ested hospitality peculiar to the people of the 
Southern States, gave me an invitation to 
spend as many months as I pleased at his 
residence in the heart of Florida. 

The road to Montgomery is only a repeti- 
tion of that from Augusta to Columbus. I 
pass over in silence the disagreeable part of 
this journey, and will at once conduct my 
reader to Montgomery. 

A term expressive of the utmost uncouthness of manner. 


In human hearts v\hat bolder tliought can rise. 
Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn? 
Where is to-morrow ? — in another world. 


Of all the towns in the Southern States, 
I know none so uncomfortable as Montgo- 
mery : its exterior has nothing to induce a 
stranger to stay there, and the manners of 
the inhabitants betoken the lowest state of 
civilization. The life of man has very little 
value in this lately erected place ; the mixed 
composition of the population gives rise to 
many frightful deeds, which in other towns 
would be severely punished by the authorities, 
but are here perpetrated without any serious 
consequences. A few days before my arrival, 
a misunderstanding had taken place between 
two gamblers. One of the parties attacked 
the other in the middle of the street, and 


wounded him very dangerously : the adver- 
sary, prepared for the aggression, drew his 
poniard, and pierced the heart of his oppo- 
nent. Both expired amidst the struggle, 
clasped in each other's arms. Their friends 
lost no time in applying for redress to the 
authorities of the town, and appealed to the 
protection of the laws in similar cases ; but 
they were answered that gamblers were not 
within the pale of the law, and that, as long- 
as murders were exclusively committed upon 
persons of that class, without disturbing any 
of the peaceable inhabitants of the city, the 
assassins were at liberty to use their poniards 
or any other weapons. From that hour, there 
were no bounds to scenes of blood and ven- 
geance : every day added to the catalogue of 
murders in Alabama. Any man is considered 
imprudent who does not continually carry a 
dagger about him, to fight for his life at any 

The town appeared to me in every respect 
so disagreeable that I was glad soon to leave 
it, and lost no time in embarking by the first 
steamer for Mobile. The distance is about 
five hundred miles, being rather more than 
twice the length of the way by land, on ac- 
count of the many windings of the river, often 


resembling' the curves of a twisting snake. 
The Alabama is one of the most romantic 
rivers in the South : its lofty, ever-varying, 
and highly cultivated banks must, in the 
summer season, present the finest view^s. Im- 
mense quantities of wild ducks and wild 
turkeys wxre constantly disturbed by the 
paddles of the steamboat, but we often passed 
through flocks of them without causing the 
least fright. At one place we met with a 
number of deer swimming across the river, 
which showed so little fear of the steamer, 
that the steersman purposely allowed her to 
touch one of them. A chace followed, which 
ended in the boat running down some of the 
swimming animals, and drowning them in the 
agitated waves. 

This trip occupied no less than four days 
and nights, owing in a great measure to the 
time lost in taking on board numberless bales 
of cotton at different landing-places. Of these, 
there are nearly one hundred on this river, 
where planters may ship their produce, which 
is then conveyed in a few hours to the market 
at Mobile. I counted at least forty such places 
at which the steamboat stopped : these stop- 
pages rendered the voyage both long and 
tedious, and fatigued the passengers before 


half the distance was accomplished. The load- 
ing of cotton was often attended with difficulty, 
the banks being high and steep. The vessel 
lying with one side as close as possible to the 
rising bank, the bales were dropped from above, 
rolling over stones and bushes, and tumbling 
from place to place, till they reached the deck, 
which shook under the weight. It was amu- 
sing to behold these bales coming down a dis- 
tance of about one hundred feet above the 
surface of the water, sliding rather slowly at 
first, and then upsetting every thing that 
arrested their progress. A Negro had once 
got too near one of these rolling bales, and 
was carried with incredible velocity at least 
fifty feet down the hill, all the time in a re- 
cumbent posture, until, coming in contact with 
another bale, it checked his course, but gave 
him at the same time such a shock, that he 
changed his position, and arrived on deck in 
a sitting attitude, without being in the least 
incommoded by the rapid descent. Fires were 
kindled at night at different points on shore, 
as a signal that cotton was to be taken on 
board ; and at last the steamer had a complete 
cargo, which, on our arriving at Mobile, con- 
sisted of no fewer than one thousand bales. 
In the course of this trip we passed several 


small places, which elsewhere would have been 
too insignificant for mention, but were here 
considered important and of note, after taking* 
on board tliere a certain quantity of cotton. 
Washington, Vernon, Selma, Catawba, Can- 
non, Clairborn, and Fort Minims, are towns, 
or rather villages, situated close to or not far 
from the river, of which nothing can be said, 
except that they consist of a few log-houses, 
the greater number of which have stores and 
cotton warehouses. Vernon was only six 
months old, and the remainder, with the ex- 
ception of Catawba, had not seen many win- 
ters. Catawba is said to have been the former 
capital of Alabama, and is known in Indian 
history as a place where the Red Men de- 
feated the Whites with great slaughter. A 
garrison had been placed in the fort, to keep 
a watchful eye on the numerous tribes of In- 
dians laying waste the neighbouring country, 
and whom they had vv^ith undaunted courage 
repulsed several times. One day, an Indian 
presented himself before the fort, and de- 
manded admittance, which was granted, his 
motive being merely curiosity to see the 
fortifications. Several others came in the 
same way, one by one, without appearing to 
have any connexion. Their object was not sus- 


pected, until a tolerable number had gained ad- 
mittance, and dispersed themselves in several 
parts of the fort : they then, all of a sudden, 
fell upon the unprepared soldiers. The gates 
were forced, and a number of Indians who 
were waiting outside rushed in, and mas- 
sacred the whole garrison, scalping all the 
white men. 

Not far from Catawba we passed the wreck 
of the steamer Helen McGregor, which had 
left Montgomery one day before us, and 
was run foul of by another steamer. Both 
were under high pressure, and the concussion 
was so violent, that the Helen McGregor 
began to sink before the panic had subsided. 
None of the passengers perished, but the 
greater part of the cargo was either damaged 
or lost. 

At length we arrived at Mobile, early in 
the morning of the fifth day. The town is 
small, but appears comfortable. The confla- 
grations, with which it has been visited of 
late years, have contributed to its embellish- 
ment. Instead of the former log-huts, rows 
of fine brick houses are now to be seen, and 
where once narrow and dirty streets were 
observed, the stranger now finds, to his no 
small surprise, wide and well-planned tho- 


rouo^hfares, made of oyster and other shells, 
which form a compact substance. Near the 
port there is a continual bustle, all buildings 
in this part consisting exclusively of stores, 
warehouses, and offices, in front of which 
stand pyramids of cotton-bales. 

Mobile is well known in Europe as a place 
of considerable trade. It has a most advan- 
tageous situation at the mouth of the great 
Alabama river, which intersects the State of 
that name. Agricultural produce of every 
sort is carried down this stream, and contri- 
butes not a little to the wealth of the citizens 
and the flourishing state of the town. Ala- 
bama is one of the principal cotton-growing 
States in the Union, its soil being peculiarly 
adapted for that crop. Nothing is wanted 
but an increased population, and sufficient 
capital to unite the two rivers, Alabama and 
Tennessee, either by a railroad or canal, which 
would open a communication with Ohio, as 
well as with South Carolina. 

That this scheme is neither visionary nor 
unlikely to be executed, must be obvious to 
any one who takes the trouble of considering 
the rapid progress and improvement of these 
States for the last ten years. The only ob- 
stacle that Mobile has to contend with is the 


difficulty of access by water, the mouth of the 
river being* full of sand-banks, which prevent 
large vessels from entering the port: mer- 
chants are therefore obliged to load goods in 
small schooners, which convey them to larger 
vessels, lying about twenty miles outside the 
port. This is rather an unfortunate circum- 
stance for Mobile : causing a waste both of 
time and money, and giving encouragement 
to the idea of founding another town in a 
better situation, where similar expences 
might be avoided. Independently of this 
inconvenience, the town is rather unhealthy 
during the heat of summer, which drives 
away the greater part of the inhabitants. 
This emigration gave rise to the building of 
another town called Blakely, on the opposite 
side of the river ; but, although the latter pos- 
sessed many advantages over its rival, it 
could not contend with it, and was soon re- 
duced to insignificance. 

The principal article of commerce in Mobile 
is cotton, of which so many as one hundred 
and thirty thousand bales were shipped in 
the course of 1832. Who would have thought, 
ten years ago, that the exportation of pro- 
duce from this little place would have risen 
eighteen hundred per cent ? The increase 


cannot go on in the same rapid proportion as 
heretofore ; still I do not see any thing to 
prevent this town from doubling or perhaps 
trebling its exportation of cotton in the 
course of a century. The produce shipped 
here is not considered of quite so good quality 
as that shipped at New Orleans, and prices 
vary in consequence: how far this inferiority 
is real, or merely the effect of prejudice and 
custom, I will not pretend to say. The 
merchants at Mobile have one opinion, those 
at New Orleans another ; but which is correct 
the cotton-manufacturer must be the best 
judge. The Alabama bales contain more than 
those from South Carolina, and weigh about 
four or five hundred pounds, but take no 
greater space than those of Carolina, whose 
weight is from three hundred to three hun- 
dred and fifty pounds, the bales on arriving 
at Mobile being pressed by the power of a 
steam-engine before they are exported. I ex- 
amined one of these steam-engines, which 
thus reduced the size of six hundred bales 
every day ; the expence is about sixty cents 
per bale. The warehouses, built on the same 
plan as those at Augusta, are capable of con- 
taining ten thousand bales. 

I was continually dissuaded from proceed- 


ing by mail to New Orleans, on account of 
the badness of the road, which renders it im- 
possible to fix a time for arrival, and w^as 
recommended to proceed by sea. In opposi- 
tion, however, to this advice, T started in the 
stage. The road cuts in an oblique direction 
through projecting points of land of the States 
of Alabama and Mississippi, and traverses a 
country filled with woods and swamps. On 
arriving at the landing-place, I found a steam- 
boat intending to proceed with the mail-bags 
toLakePontchartrain ; but she was still under- 
going repair, with one of her chimneys taken 
down, on which two smiths were hard at work, 
hammering and repairing. Seeing her in 
this state, I naturally supposed that her de- 
parture was not near at hand, and therefore 
went on shore with the intention of taking a 
short walk. The captain had hardly ob- 
served my departure, when, offended pro- 
bably at my boldness in coming to a conclu- 
sion without consulting him, he cried out in a 
tone of voice distinguished by any thing but 
mildness : " Excellent ! a passenger less ! 
Take away the planks ! Put the wheels in 
motion !" 

I lost no time in returning, and endeavoured 
to make the captain understand that, as the 


boat was not yet ready, she could not start. 
'' Who told you that?" asked the gallant tar, 
still more excited — "people novv-a-days pre- 
tend to understand what they know nothing 

The sentence was hardly finished before the 
vessel was in motion. The chimney was 
raised in a twinkling-, and fastened to the 
sides by chains, but so loosely and imperfectly, 
that, like the pendulum of a clock, it swung 
to and fro every twenty yards that the boat 
advanced. Soot and smoke issued through 
apertures still left unrepaired, and covered 
deck and cabin with a dense cloud, at times 
almost suffocating. To protest against this 
annoyance was of very little avail with a 
man of this stamp. Neither indeed was it 
possible to make any complaint, as the wor- 
thy captain, feeling his eyes rather heavy 
from the effect of drinking, had retired to 
his birth, and said to his black servant, whilst 
locking the door, '' Woe to him who ventures 
to disturb me ! If the boat should take fire, 
you may wake me, but not otherwise." There 
were three other passengers on board besides 
myself, who laughed at this, and amused 
themselves with playing at cards all night. 
I ought here to observe, that these individuals 



were members of a society established in the 
Southern and Western States, whose occupa- 
tion is exclusively directed to gambling pur- 
suits. Some of the worthy fraternity are 
invariably found on board steamboats, or in 
other places to which strangers are likely to 
resort. The profits of their ill-gotten gains 
are afterwards divided among them. 

Finding that nothing' could be done towards 
improving our present disagreeable situation, 
I retired to rest, in hopes of finding some 
repose after my fatiguing journey. I was on 
the point of taking' a nap, when a shock, 
resembling the report of a cannon, dispelled 
all inclination to sleep. Uncertain if the 
cause was not the bursting of the boiler, I 
went on deck, where, to my no small surprise, 
all was quiet, as if nothing particular had 
happened. The only person I could find was 
a carpenter, making plugs of wood : on in- 
quiring the cause of the last shock, he an- 
swered very drily and laconically, ''Oh, it 
was only one of the boilers that burst." At 
the same moment another shock was heard, 
and presently a third. The carpenter pre- 
tended not to hear, and continued his work. 
I asked if the captain ought not to be called, 
since all the boilers had burst, and placed 


both boat and passengers in danger of mak- 
ing* a sudden aerial voyage. ''Why so?" 
replied he; '' does not the vessel go as before ? 
It is not the first time the boilers have burst. 
I have hardly time to make plugs fast enough. 
As soon as a hole is observed in the boiler, a 
plug is put in, and it answers the purpose 
perfectly well." 

The steamboat meanwhile slowly continued 
her voyage without stopping, and steered her 
course within the rocks, along the shore on the 
right side, having a number of islands on the 
left. The entrance to Lake Pontchartrain 
from Lake Borgne is rather narrow and 
full of dangerous shoals, which it is often 
difficult to avoid. The first lake is very ex- 
tensive, having the appearance of a sea : its 
waters are easily agitated, the least wind rais- 
ing them to the height of waves. The steam- 
boat stopped at the southern shore, and landed 
passengers at a place much visited during the 
warm season by people from New Orleans, 
for the convenience of sea-bathing. Several 
large houses are built for that purpose on the 
banks of the lake, where both sexes bathe 
together, as at Lueg, in Switzerland. 

Creoles often told me how extremely plea- 
sant this sociable way of bathing was, and 

E 2 


assured me that the most agreeable moments 
in the summer were spent in this manner. 
The bathers are attired in a peculiar dress, 
mostly of flannel. Whole families walk there 
for hours together, and young ladies are 
courted and flirt in the bath with as little 
inconvenience as in a drawing-room. A little, 
handsome, black-eyed Creole, in New Orleans, 
was one day describing to me how much 
pleasure she found in this recreation, and 
summed up all she had been saying on the 
subject in the following words, expressed 
w ith perfect extacy : " Mais, Monsieur, c'est 
charmant, c'est un paradis terrestreT' 

The distance hence to New Orleans is about 
six miles, which I travelled in twelve minutes 
by means of a steam-carriage. The road 
passes by a continual swamp, and it is only 
on approaching the town that the ground ac- 
quires solidity. This circumstance sufficiently 
accounts for the fevers always prevalent in 
these parts, the idea of which may be said to be 
inseparable from the name of New Orleans. 

New Orleans is built in a semicircle, 
along the shore of the Mississippi, one 
hundred and five miles from its mouth at 
Balize, and one thousand from its junction 
with the River Ohio. The streets follow the 


curve of the stream, and are crossed by- 
others running' from the Mississippi. Only 
one of them was paved when I visited the 
city, but I was assured that the others would 
undergo the same process in the course of a 
short time: a beginning was already made in 
one of the principal streets when 1 left New 
Orleans. Paving is of the greatest conse- 
quence to this town, for after rain it was next 
to impossible to move without sinking knee- 
deep in mud : after a long drought again, the 
dust was intolerable, when spectacles were 
indispensable requisites to prevent blindness. 
Mud and dust were the only alternatives. 

The city is divided into two parts, the town 
itself, or the old French town, and the Fau- 
bourgs, of which the northern and nearest 
goes by the name of the American town. The 
old town is a parallelogram, formed on three 
sides by wide streets, planted with trees, 
and on the fourth inclosed by the Mississippi. 
No stranger can help observing the wide dif- 
ference there exists in every thing betvveen the 
French and Creole, and the American part of 
the town: they appear like two different cities, 
inhabited by different natives, governed by 
different principles and laws. In the first are 
seen a number of wooden houses, only one 


story high, containing three or four rooms, 
opening- into the street by means of glass- 
doors. Those that have been built of late 
years are of brick, and plastered, which gives 
the town more of a European than American 
appearance. Creoles, who inhabit the old parts 
of New Orleans, are generally satisfied with 
little, and not fond of trouble. This circum- 
stance, the effect of a warm and relaxing- 
climate, operates sensibly on the appearance 
of this part of the city, which has received 
very little improvement. 

In the American part again, every thing 
advances, the enterprising Yankees setting- 
no bounds to improvements of every kind. 
Possessing considerable capital, which they 
know how to lay out to advantage, their 
activity in every branch of commerce must 
insure the success which they anticipate. 
The extensive and lucrative cotton trade, the 
principal source of wealth to New Orleans, 
is drawing gradually towards the American 
quarter, and now seems to have established it- 
self there for good. Attempts have been made 
and are making to divide the trade, by ren- 
dering the Southern Faubourg a free port, 
with commodious warehouses : but I much 
doubt whether the object can be accomplished 


in the manner proposed by sanguine spe- 

In the mean time, the American part of the 
town is flourishing' and increasing in a most 
astonishing degree. Large brick buildings 
and warehouses spring up, and are finished 
in a shorter time than Europeans require to 
lay foundations. Streets are filled with goods, 
principally bales of cotton ; and between these 
American merchants are seen running in 
a continual hurry, their minds filled with 
schemes and speculations. The price of cot- 
ton was the topic of conversation from one 
end of the street to the other ; and a fall or 
rise occupied the dealers so intensely, that 
their countenances became at last actual 
barometers, in which a physiognomist could 
easily discern if the difference in price since 
the preceding day was one-quarter, one-half, 
one, or two cents per pound. 

The^port of New Orleans is called the 
Levee, a wide unpaved street, always filled 
with mud or dust, equally annoying to man 
and beast ; on one side a row of stores and 
dwelling-houses has been erected. The rapidi- 
ty of the river prevents the building of a pier, 
so common and convenient in other towns of 
America, running in a straight line from the 


shore, and so wide that ships may load and 
unload with the greatest ease on both sides. 
Instead of such a structure (unquestionably 
leaving' more space), the ships lie in tiers 
alongside the harbour, sometimes three or 
four deep. A visit to the port offers a very 
interesting spectacle, both on account of the 
river, majestically washing its shores, and of 
the many different languages there spoken. 
One day I remarked individuals of the fol- 
lowing nations : Americans, English, French, 
Scotch, Spaniards, Swedes, Germans, Irish, 
Italians, Russians, Creoles, Indians, Negroes, 
Mexicans, and Brazilians. 

This mixture of languages, costumes, and 
manners, rendered the scene one of the most 
singular that I ever witnessed. The liveli- 
ness of the Italians, the proud air of the 
Spaniards, the elasticity of the French, the 
composure of the English, the stern counte- 
nances of the Indians, the slavish conduct of 
the Negroes, formed altogether such a strik- 
ing contrast, that it was not a little extraor- 
dinary to find them united in one single point. 
If there is a place where it is possible to 
form any thing like a correct idea of the con- 
fusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel, it 
certainly is New Orleans. Contemplate this 


group of polite and volatile Frenchmen, of 
grinning- Creoles — do they not appear as if 
they passed ihroiigh life dancing? Yon- 
der stalk a few Spaniards — does not their 
gait denote their national pride ? And this 
group of robust Swedish mariners, encamped 
on a pile of bar-iron, brought by them 
from the Scandinavian Peninsula — what 
forms the topic of their interesting con- 
versation but the country that produces this 
metal ? Here the fruiterer exhibits a variety 
of fruit, and raises pyramids of oranges, 
bananas, lemons, pineapples, &c. See with 
what voracity these South Americans, stretch- 
ed on the ground, devour the half-ripe fruit. 
There, an Italian is performing on a miserable 
organ, while two monkeys are dancing on the 
top. Yonder, again, an itinerant Y^ankee 
spreads a thousand different articles on the 
ground, exclaiming that he sells them at a 
loss, merely for the sake of ensuring custom. 
Here, coffee is sold by Negro women ; there, 
oysters are swallowed; there, Indians are drain- 
ing their whisky-bottle, after having given a 
small quantity to their wives and children. 
There, again, is a countryman from Ken- 
tucky, who has just sold his crop, and has 
his pocket full of money, which he is anxious 


either to lose or to double at a gaming-house 
as soon as evening arrives. Finally, listen 
to the noise of the Mulatto, Negro, and Irish 
women, offering their goods for sale, and the 
rolling of carts and waggons, sinking under 
the weight of produce from all parts of the 
world. Who will deny that these afford innu- 
merable subjects for the painter and the poet ? 
The population of the city amounted, ac- 
cording to the census of 1830, to forty-eight 
thousand four hundred and fifty-six souls ; 
during the winter months, it may probably be 
very little short of sixty thousand. More 
than half are natives of Africa, or their proge- 
ny, such as Mulattoes and Quarteroons ; and 
the other half consists of Whites, of whom the 
Creoles form a greater proportion than settled 
Americans. I remember having often heard 
in Europe the name " Creole" applied indis- 
criminately to all people of colour. This is, 
however, a great mistake; for it means a free 
native of the country, and belongs exclusively 
to white people born in the neighbourhood. 
In conversation, for instance, it is often said, 
" a Creole of New Orleans," '' a Creole of 
St. Croix," " a Creole of Guadaloupe," which 
implies a person born in these places. A 
Creole of New Orleans considers it as degrad- 


ing to be taken for a Mulatto or a Quarteroon, 
as an inhabitant of the Northern States 
would, and never fails, both in word and 
deed, to show this distinction. Descending- 
from a mixed race of Spaniards and French, 
the Creoles have inherited all the character- 
istics of their forefathers, such as jealousy, 
and an impetuosity of temper, that often 
drives them to the commission of acts which 
in other parts of the globe would be severely 
punished, though they are here passed over 
unnoticed. At playhouses it was not unusual 
to see persons attack each other with drawn 

I was myself an eye-witness of two scenes 
in the French Opera House, which left on my 
mind a strong impression of the passionate 
and vindictive disposition of the Creoles. 
On both occasions, a dispute arose between 
two well-dressed gentlemen on the subject of 
their seats ; a sharp expression led to a retort, 
and then followed the drawing of dirks, which 
are carried by every one at New Orleans. 
One of the combatants received a very severe 
wound in the shoulder, and the other a dan- 
gerous cut in the side, which put his life in 
jeopardy. As soon as the bleeding heroes had 
been carried out of the house by their friends, 


all sensation ceased, and the play was resumed 
as if nothing had happened. On another 
occasion, at a public ball, which was attended 
by the principal people of the city, two gen- 
tlemen had a misunderstanding respecting a 
lady, with whom both wished to have the 
honour of dancing. They retired immediately 
from the ball-room to settle their quarrel with 
balls of a different kind. 

The Creoles are in general handsome, with 
large bright black eyes, fine figure, and an 
agreeable carriage. They have something of 
the French tournure, and dress tastefully and 
elegantly. The climate, however, produces 
a relaxing effect, observable in their move- 
ments, which indicate indolence, and in their 
conversation, tainted with a kind of debility. 
Few are able to express themselves in Eng- 
lish ; their French is a kind of patois, which 
annoyed me a little at first, until the ear 
became more familiarized with the strange 

Quarteroons, as they are called, are indivi- 
duals descended from Negroes, intermixed 
with Whites ; after several generations, they 
may be said to be three-fourths of the latter 
race, retaining only one-fourth of the Negro 
blood in their ^ eins. Many of them are as 


white, if not whiter, than the Creoles ; so that 
a stranger can hardly discover the African 
extraction. In general, they have obtained 
their freedom ; still they are not entitled to the 
same privileges and respect as free citizens. 
It is enough that they are of sable origin 
(even though in the sixth generation) to sub- 
ject them to all the contempt bestowed on 
the slave. A barbarous enactment forbids 
marriages between these and the Whites, 
declaring all such alliances illegal. The 
consequence may be easily foreseen. The 
unfortunate Quarteroon girls, many of whom 
have received an education which would be 
an ornament to any lady, imbibe a belief 
from infancy, that the Creator has made them 
subordinate beings, belonging to a race infe- 
rior to the Whites, and that therefore they 
are not fit to go through the ceremony of 
marriage, or to receive the usual benediction 
from a clergyman. They are far from igno- 
rant of the obligations and duties of a wife, 
and perform both as becomes respectable 
females ; but, however spotless their conduct, 
a certain degree of disgrace never leaves them 
for a moment. If a white man happens to 
marry a Quarteroon, he is no longer admitted 
into the society of Creoles ; from that instant 


he is reduced to a level with the former. He 
must then live en retraite in New Orleans, or 
quit the country for another part, where dif- 
ferent customs permit him to restore to his 
wife that respect which she often deserves, and 
of which she has only been deprived by a 
foolish prejudice. 

Quarteroon girls are of course divided into 
several classes — I have now only spoken of 
the first. There are some whose morals are 
certainly objectionable ; but their appearance 
and demeanour bespeak nothing of the kind. 
A stranger would take them for respectable 
and virtuous women. The boldness and 
effrontery peculiar to females in this, de- 
pfraded station in London or Paris are not to 
be found in New Orleans. Unless a person 
is previously acquainted with the life they 
lead, nothing in their conduct excites sus- 
picion. It is almost impossible to believe 
that these bashful females are other than 
what they represent themselves to be. Much 
is said all over America of their extraordinary 
beauty, but 1 confess I was not a little dis- 
appointed. Undoubtedly, there are many 
who may be called handsome, but beautiful 
they certainly are not, in my eyes, at least. T 
did not see one that might be called so. They 


have in general large dark or black eyes, and 
black hair ; but they are deficient in two im- 
portant qualities : the voice is often harsh 
and unpleasant, and the figure not exactly 
that of a Taglioni. Shakspeare has told us 
that a gentle voice is *' an excellent thing in 
\voman ;" and we all acknowledge the fasci- 
nation of a symmetrical form. 

No city in the United States, with the ex- 
ception of New York, has a more advan- 
tageous situation for commerce than New 
Orleans. The immense rivers which traverse 
the Western States bring thither, without 
difficulty, produce from distances of several 
thousand miles. Canals and railroads con- 
tribute, in a great measure, to facilitate com- 
munications partly formed by Nature ; so that 
New^ Orleans may now be said to be in direct 
communication with the Canadas and New 
York, by means of an inland navigation, 
effected by canals, which unite the Ohio wnth 
Lake Erie, and Lake Erie with the Hudson. 
In the months of January, February, and 
March, it is not uncommon to see one thou- 
sand flat boats* lying at one time in the 
harbour. I counted one day fifty steamboats 

* Boats marie of logs put together in a loose and slovenly 
manner, on which produce is brought down to New Orleans. 
When the goods are disposed of, the boat is also sold for fuel. 


near the bridge. Ships are continually coming- 
in or go in gout, to\^ ed ly steamers. Every 
thing indicates the most extraordinary acti- 
vity. New Orleans is already in the South 
what New York is in the North, gradually 
monopolizing all trade from the neighbouring 
towns, and it would even surpass the latter, if 
the climate did not check its increase. 

This unfortunate circumstance, which com- 
pels the inhabitants to absent themselves for 
about four months in the year, tends to 
check, in a sensible degree, the rapid advance 
of New Orleans. The yellow fever appears 
to have fixed its abode in this city ; and if 
any other contagious disease reaches the 
American shore, it is sure to pay a visit to 
this place. None, without being seasoned 
to the climate, can with any safety remain 
during the heat of summer ; but, having once 
gone through the ordeal of the yellow fever, 
no apprehensions need be entertained of a 
second attack. Creoles are not exposed to it ; 
but strangers and emigrants often fall victims 
to its influence. The sickly season generally 
commences in August or September, and does 
not cease till a sharp frost sets in, when all 
diseases disappear with the same rapidity 
that they broke out, often in a single night. 


Winter is exempt from any disorders, al- 
though the atmosphere is damp, and as un- 
pleasant as it is trying to an individual not 
accustomed to it. T have no doubt that the 
unhealthy vapours which are continually ri- 
sing* from the Mississippi and the adjoining 
swamps, so peculiarly injurious at night to 
weak constitutions, will, in a great measure, 
be obviated when these swamps are drained, 
and the ground feels the effect of cultivation. 
To accomplish this desirable end, numerous 
canals have already been cut, and others are 
daily making, which, when completed, will, it 
is to be hoped, have a material influence on 
the climate, and if they do not altogether 
extinguish the epidemic, will perhaps dimi- 
nish its virulence so much that New Orleans 
and yellow fever will no more be synonymous. 
During the five weeks I spent in this city, 
the weather was uninterruptedly mild, and, 
with the exception of my sojourn in Naples, 
T never remember having spent so warm a 
January as this. Tn the middle of the day, 
the heat was even oppressive. The mornings 
had a delightful freshness, but the nights 
were often so warm, that one might without 
risk sleep with open windows. The city was 
visited at least once a week by thunder- 



storms, so awfully magnificent that they must 
be heard to be duly appreciated; and these 
were generally attended by such heavy 
showers, that they threatened to sweep 
away the whole city. Night and day, mil- 
lions of musquitoes sported about ; tired no 
doubt of the common blood of Creoles, they 
manifest a decided preference for that of 
strangers, to whom they are a source of ex- 
treme and continual annoyance, never failing 
to leave such marks of their visits, that these 
are often confounded with those by which 
votaries of Bacchus are generally distin- 

New Orleans had, this season, been severely 
visited with diseases of various kinds ; the 
yellow fever and cholera having alternately 
raged with a violence which spread terror 
even among those who had hitherto braved 
every danger. None escaped ; neither Creole 
nor stranger, neither White nor Black. Death 
invaded every family, and depopulated every 
fifth house : it was out of human power to 
stop its ravages. Half the inhabitants fled 
in dismay to the neighbouring country, but 
even there they were assailed. Scarcely was 
there time to take leave of intimate friends, to 
bury the dead, or to read a prayer over their 


graves. Whole families were extinguished 
like lamps, by a breath of air. Yes, one 
night was sufficient to sweep from the earth 
father, mother, children, dying in each other's 
arms, before their neighbours even knew 
they were ailing-. Trenches were dug in the 
swampy churchyard, into which were thrown, 
by scores, the bodies of persons, who either 
had no friends or relations, or, if they had, 
these were so occupied with their own safety, 
that they had no time to provide coffins. 
Friendship, love, every tie, was dissolved ; in 
every house there was a vacancy. How few 
were the fortunate beings, who, at the end of 
1832, could say that not one of their friendly 
circle was missing! But why dwell on a 
scene which involves so much misery, of 
which numbers have seen pictures equally 
frightful, in America as well as in Europe ! 

From sorrow to joy there is but one step, 
and from the most serious contemplation men 
often relapse into the most cutting satire. 
I shall, therefore, take leave of this gloomy 
picture, and turn to another, in which a 
Yankee occupies the principal place. I will 
relate the anecdote just as it was told to me, 
and only quote it with a view to illustrate the 
fact, if it could be questioned at all, that a 

F 2 


Yankee is "cut and dry" for business, and 
that, place him wherever you please, he is 
sure to prosper and grow rich. There is 
nothing that he cannot turn to his advan- 
tage : he even carries, if I may be allowed 
the expression, frozen lakes from Boston to 
the East Indies for sale, and succeeds beyond 
his most sanguine expectation. In the same 
way, a calculating head in one of the New 
England States had heard that the cholera 
was advancing towards New Orleans; judging, 
from the bad name and unhealthy state of the 
place, that a great mortality must of course 
ensue among the citizens, he determined to 
turn the circumstance to his own advantage. 
He accordingly chartered a vessel, which was 
quickly laden with a considerable quantity 
of large boxes. On arriving at the place of 
destination, the utmost despatch was used to 
unload her : how great were the surprise and 
astonishment of the consignee on finding that 
the whole cargo consisted of nothing but 

coffins ! 

The 8th of January was a day of festivity 
at New Orleans. Eighteen years had now 
elapsed since that day had been distinguished 
in the page of American history by a victory 
gained l>y General Jackson, at the head of a 


body of undisciplined troops, over the En- 
glish army, commanded by General Sir Ed- 
ward Packenham. This victory, so glorious 
to the republican commander, paved the way 
to the presidential chair. The day was there- 
fore sacred to every American citizen, and 
celebrated at New Orleans with more splen- 
dour than in any other part of the United 
States. Early in the morning, mass was per- 
formed in the cathedral, an old, dilapidated 
building, where thousands of faithful Catho- 
lics repaired to hear Te Deum, and a sermon 
commemorative of the event, delivered by one 
of the ablest preachers in the city. The 
subject afforded the orator ample scope for 
indulging in severe observations with refer- 
ence to the defeated enemy, which were lis- 
tened to by a number of Englishmen, who 
happened to be present upon the occasion, 
with philosophical composure. Divine service 
was foUow^ed by a grand parade of the militia 
of the city, composed of cavalry and infantry, 
belonging to the first families in New Orleans, 
and amounting to about eight hundred men. 
The uniforms were the handsomest I had seen 
in the New World, particularly that of the 
cavalry, which bore a strong resemblance to 
the French. The martial bearinp- of both 


officers and soldiers left nothing to be de- 
sired : yet the salutes, or firing of the small 
arms, were rather indicative of the recruit, 
and not unlike the report of a few hundred 
crackers let off one at a time. The festivi- 
ties concluded with a performance at the 
theatre, adapted to the occasion, and with 

The Legislature of the State of Louisiana 
was then sitting in New Orleans. Members 
of both Chambers were chosen from among 
the Creoles as well as from the American 
population. As many members only under- 
stand one language, either French or En- 
glish, it is necessary at the end of every 
speech to employ an interpreter, who makes 
a summary translation as far as his memory 
permits. This causes, however, a loss of 
time irreparable to a legislative body like 
this, and which would be much better em- 
ployed if the same language were spoken by 
all. Time will probably remedy this evil, 
when Americans shall have so much ascend- 
ency in the State as to elect their own mem- 
bers, and to exclude those who speak no 
other than the French Creole dialect. I was 
fortunate enough to hear several of their first 
orators speaking on the subject of creating a 


new Bank, which should have the additional 
privilege of providing* funds for the cutting of 
a canal from the Mississippi to Lake Borgne. 
The speeches were violent, but flowing, and 
often distinguished by eloquence. 


I hear the sound of death on the harp. 


The Mississippi was lying' before me. Its 
waters, restless and muddy, always filled with 
a great quantity of half-consumed bushes, 
branches, and trees, rolled rapidly past the 
shore on which I stood. It is not without 
great exertion that man is capable of mas- 
tering its powerful waves. On the least 
neglect, he is lost without redemption. Un- 
happy he who has the misfortune of falling 
into the river : an invisible arm drags liim 
instantly to the bottom, never to ap})ear 
again. Thousands are the means employed 
by the Mississippi to attract its victims. If 
a month happens to elapse without a steam- 
boat or some other craft being engulphed in 
the agitated waves, all at once you hear of 
one of the former having foundered, after 
striking against a snag, j)r()jecting from the 


bottom of the river, or of the boiler having- 
burst, or the boat taken fire, or of a flat boat 
being totally lost; on all these occasions, 
human lives are sacrificed. But this is not 
all. Vapours of a highly pernicious nature 
rise in various directions near the banks of 
this river, and produce dangerous disorders. 
Tornadoes are also very frequent, and some- 
times shocks of earthquakes are felt. 

It was a truly imposing spectacle to behold 
this magnificent river. The sombre appear- 
ance of immeasurable forests on both shores, 
the disagreeable, muddy, and light brown 
colour of the water, and its extraordinary 
rapidity, all contributed to clothe the Missis- 
sippi with a majestic mantle. The width is 
not considerable, being only about half an 
English mile near New Orleans. St. Lawrence 
and other large rivers can therefore dispute 
the palm in that respect. The Mississippi is 
perhaps the narrowest stream on earth, pos- 
sessing such an immense mass of water ; this 
circumstance may appear singular to those 
who have not seen this river, but can easily 
be explained, by taking into account that it 
is not a clear stream, but filled with earth and 
trees, which are carried by the current till 
they stick fast in some bay or curve, and 


thus contribute to keep the channel equally 
narrow and deep. 

The Mississippi takes its rise in a high 
table-land, in about the forty-seventh degree 
of latitude. Opinions still differ respecting the 
precise spot where its source may be found ; 
upon the whole, it is a matter of very little con- 
sequence whether it be Turtle Lake, Leech 
Lake, or any other lake. In or about the forty- 
seventh degree of latitude is situated, how- 
ever, beyond a doubt, that source which gives 
birth to a stream that soon widens into a 
considerable river, and, traversing large and 
rich tracts of land, has a longer course than 
any other that I know of. From its source to its 
junction with the Missouri, the distance is 
computed at sixteen hundred miles, seven 
hundred of which may be navigated by 
steamboats. From this point, the outlet into 
the Gulph of Mexico is twelve hundred and 
fifty miles distant ; so that the whole length 
of the river is two thousand eight hundred 
and fifty miles. Several authors have con- 
tended that the Missouri, * being a much 

• The Missouri, from its source to its junction with the Missis- 
sippi, is three tliousand one hundred and eighty-one miles in length, 
of which two thousand six hundred are navigable by steamers. To 
Balize, it is one thousand two hundred and fifty miles farther^^ 
making the whole length of the stream four thousand four hundred 
and thirty-one miles. 


larg;er, longer, and more powerful stream, 
ought to give name to the river, after its 
junction with the Mississippi : be this as it 
may, the Mississippi, into which the Missouri 
runs, being the straighter of the two, has 
given its name to the gigantic stream. That 
tract of land which goes under the denomina- 
tion of the Valley of the Mississippi, because 
the river runs through it, is bordered towards 
the east by the Alleghany Mountains, and on 
the west by the Rocky Mountains, the dis- 
tance between which two chains is two thou- 
sand five hundred miles in a straight line, 
and double that space if the course of the 
Ohio and Missouri is followed. 

No river in the world has so many tributary 
streams, which, like weak vassals, joining an 
advancing army headed by a hero, pay their 
contingent to the Mississippi, and mingle 
with its mighty waters. To enumerate all 
these streams would exceed the limits of this 
work : I will only mention a few of the prin- 
cipal, that may not be generally known in 
Europe, and yet may vie with the Rhine, the 
Danube, and the Elbe. To the north of the 
Missouri, the following streams run into the 
Mississippi : Ouisconsin, Rock River, Des 
Moines, Salt River, and Illhiois. South of 


the Missouri again, the following- form a junc- 
tion : Kaskaskia, Ohio, St. Francis, White 
River, Arkansas, and Red River. Were 
these in the Old World, they would long ere 
now have been objects of admiration, per- 
haps the theme of some illustrious poet : at 
present they must wait in hopes of the arrival 
of that day, when their European rivals 
shall have sunk into oblivion and insignifi- 
cance ! 

About three hundred miles from its source, 
the Mississippi is half a mile wide. It then 
precipitates itself from an elevation, and forms 
a perpendicular waterfall of seventeen feet. 
This cataract is called the Falls of St. An- 
thony. The environs are described as ex- 
tremely romantic, and as having been the 
scene of the following melancholy event. A 
young Dacota Indian woman, impelled by 
jealousy and despair at the inconstancy of 
her husband, who had taken another wife, 
placed herself and children in a canoe, and 
let it glide down the fall. Both mother and 
children perished, without leaving the least 
trace behind ; but, according to tradition, the 
spirit of the injured woman still hovers about 
the place, bewailing the infidelity of the 


The features of the stream below this fall 
are well described in Flint's excellent picture 
of the Mississippi Valley, to which valuable 
work I beg' leave to refer my readers. From 
St. Anthony's Fall the river runs tranquilly 
through rich meadows and thick forests, con- 
tinually increasing by the junction of many 
other streams, themselves coming from re- 
gions several thousand miles distant. As far 
as the mouth of the Missouri, the rapidity of 
the river is scarcely two miles an hour ; below 
the Missouri, again, it is more considerable, 
and may be computed at four miles for the 
same period. On joining this river, the Mis- 
sissippi is one mile and a half wide. The 
united streams have subsequently, as far as 
the mouth of Ohio, no greater width than 
three quarters of a mile. The mighty Missis- 
sippi appears to lessen rather than widen it ; 
but the depth insensibly changes ; the mass 
of water increases; and, what is much to 
be lamented, alters its character altogether. 
It is no longer the quiet and peaceable 
stream, with smooth shores and plain sand- 
banks : it is now a wild and boiling river ; its 
shores present uneven and rugged banks, and, 
at places from which the water has receded, 
heaps of mud are deposited. 


The Mississippi will always remain a sub- 
lime subject for contemplation ; aged forests 
will ever cov er its banks ; but its peaceable 
character, hitherto so gratifying' to the eye, is- 
gone. '*No thinking man can contemplate 
this mighty and resistless current, sweeping- 
its proud course from point to point, and 
winding through the dark forests, without 
a feeling of awe. The hundred regions laved 
by its waters ; the long course of its tribu- 
taries, some of which water the abodes of 
civilization, while others pursue their way 
through countries where not a solitary dwell- 
ing of civihzed man is seen on their banks ; 
the numerous tribes of savages that now roam 
on its vicinity ; the affecting and imperishable 
traces of generations that are gone, leaving 
no other memorials of their existence or ma- 
terials for history than their tombs, that rise 
at frequent intervals along its shores ; the 
dim but glorious anticipations of the future 
— these are subjects of contemplation, that 
cannot but associate themselves with the 
view of this river."^' 

I was repeatedly told in America that none 
can form a correct idea of the Mississippi 
who has only visited it once. 1 doubted the 

Flint's " History and Geography of the Mississippi Valley." 


truth of this assertion, until I had an oppor- 
tunity of personally surveying this immense 
river. A few weeks' acquaintance with it 
soon convinced me that its appearance in 
spring*, when the banks overflow, is very dif- 
ferent from what it is in autumn. It is no 
longer the same stream, which, at one season, 
confines itself within a mile, and at another 
covers a space of at least thirty miles in width, 
and is in no place less than fifteen feet deep. 
Trees, which in summer and autumn raise 
their aged heads far above the surface of the 
water, are hardly visible during the rest of 
the year, and resemble boundless woods 
growing at the bottom of an extensive lake. 
One is even led to believe that it requires a 
man's life-time to examine and to become tho- 
roughly acquainted with the character of this 
river. Individuals who inhabit its shores 
are often struck with amazement at the sud- 
den changes produced in a single night, in the 
course of the Mississippi, by its increased 
width and extraordinary ravages : how is it 
then possible for a traveller, who only sees it 
once, to come to any correct conclusion ! He 
may be astonished at its length — judge by 
the depth of tributary streams of its immense 
mass of water — tremble at the violence of the 


waves — contemplate with surprise the muddy 
water which follows him long after quitting* 
Balize, and even when land is out of sight — 
still he knows nothing of the Mississippi, until 
in the afternoon of a long life, commenced, 
passed, and concluded, on its shores. 

It was about the beginning of February 
when I quitted the great Southern metropolis, 
and embarked on board the steamer Louisi- 
ana, bound to Louisville. This was one of 
the largest steamboats plying on the Missis- 
sippi, and belonging to the Mississippi and 
Ohio Mail Line, the only one in all the West- 
ern States in which it is possible to travel with 
any degree of safety. Each year adds a con- 
siderable number to the long list of human vic- 
tims lost by accidents in steamers on this river. 
It is almost a miracle to escape with life on 
these trips. Of nine steamboats that left New 
Orleans on the same day for different places, 
Natchez, Alexandria, St. Louis, Louisville, 
and Pittsburg, three only arrived without 
disasters of some kind or other. Negligence, 
no doubt, is the principal cause, and of this I 
was an eye-witness during my trip up the 
river. The length of the voyage, from one 
thousand to one thousand five hundred miles, 
so overpowers captain and pilot, seamen 


and engineers, with fatigue, that they fall 
into an imaginary security, from which they 
are roused only when accidents happen, and 
death already reigns on board. 

But still negligence may not always be the 
cause : false economy, and a want of proper 
feeling on the part of proprietors of steam- 
boats, have also their share, if the statements 
current in the Western States may be de- 
pended upon. A captain of one of the smaller 
steamboats had, as I vvas informed, for a long 
time called the attention of his owners to the 
indifferent condition of the boilers, and as- 
sured them, that some were so worn out, that 
he expected they would burst every minute, 
and that he could not answer for consequen- 
ces. The owners laughed at his warnings, 
and ordered him immediately to proceed with 
the steamer to his place of destination, add- 
ing: '* A few lives more or less are of very 
little consequence to us ; the steamer must go." 

When to this carelessness of human life 
and the negligence of the crew is added the 
really dangerous navigation of the Missis- 
sippi, both on account of the strong current 
and the sunken snags or sawyers*, so often 

• Sawyers, or snags, are trees, which, torn from tlie banks, jjet 
entangled by the roots at the bottom of tlie river. Their trunks, 



met with, one may form an imperfect idea of 
the continual dangers to which travellers on 
this river are exposed. The Atlantic Ocean, 
with its fathomless depth, is not half so dan- 
gerous as the Mississippi : a voyage from 
Liverpool to New York is a party of pleasure 
when compared to that from New Orleans to 
Cincinnati. During the two years I spent in 
America, hardly a month passed without 
some accident happening on the Western 
rivers, by one or two steamboats being blown 
up, burnt, or sunk ; and I still shudder at the 
number of human lives that were sacrificed, 
not by hundreds, but by thousands. 

It was in the year 1811 that the first steam- 
boat was built in the Mississippi valley, but 
it was not until 1817 that they were in full 
activity. On the large Western rivers there 
are now no fewer than about four hundred 
steamers, of which the greater ])art are from 
two hundred, two hundred and fifty, three 
hundred, to three hundred and fifty tons bur- 
den. Among the larger ones, the Mediter- 
ranean takes the first rank : this steamboat 
was built at Pittsburg, and carries a freight 
of seven hundred tons. She was like a fri- 

by the iiiHueiice of the current, are always movinj;? backward and 
forward, and are extremely dang^erous to vessels, which they often 
cut through. 


gate, with three decks : the steam, issuing at 
every revolution of the wheel, was so impetu- 
ous, that the noise it made resembled the 
report of a cannon. Next to this vessel 
follow the Homer, Henry Clay, Uncle Sam, 
Mohican, &,c. The Louisiana measured three 
hundred and sixty tons, and had two decks, 
the upper of which consisted of a long saloon, 
extending from the foie-part of the ship to the 
stern, and a ladies' cabin with births on the 
sides. The births for the men were on each 
side of the saloon, with windows facing an 
open passage round the vessel. In the mid- 
dle of the room appeared an oblong case of 
immense size, used as a table, but in reality 
a covering for part of the machinery raised 
through the floor. The only outlet from this 
saloon was in the fore-part, through the bar, 
an apartment incessantly frequented by all 
the drinking individuals on board. This place 
of resort was exactly above the boilers, so 
that, in case of any accident, the aforesaid 
individuals would have been among the first 
victims, nor was there any escape for those 
who might chance to be in the stern. The 
other deck again was fitted up for the machi- 
nery, (high pressure), and was also used for 
such goods as could not be stowed in the hold 

G 2 


of the vessel, and finally for the accommoda- 
tion of deck passengers. The latter consisted 
chiefly of persons who had come down in flat 
boats from the Northern and North-western 
States, and who, after disposing' of their pro- 
duce and boats, were return in >; home at a 
small ex pence. "From Louisville to New Or- 
leans, for instance, they paid no more than 
five dollars, if they engaged to assist the 
crew in taking in firewood at various sta- 

Above the long saloon was the hurricane- 
deck, as it is called, perfectly open, without 
any covering. Here the pilot had a box in 
the foremost part of the vessel, immediately 
behind the two chimneys, or above the drink- 
ing room. The fare was much better on 
board this boat than in those on the Alabama 
river ; but, after all, it can hardly be called 
good. The dishes were badly cooked, and 
served up in small allowances : bacon and 
ham, and all sorts of pig-meat, seemed to be 
favourite dishes with the captain and cook. 
The black attendants were impudent and in- 
solent, and their conduct often led to disagree- 
able scenes between them and the passengers. 

Steamboats in the West are undoubtedly 
the least durable of any : they are considered 


old and useless after a service of five years. 
The cause may be traced partly to the green 
wood employed in their construction, partly 
to the hurry in which they are built. They 
generally pay the first cost within five years, 
sometimes even in three, two, or one year. 
Hence some conception may be formed of the 
immense traffic in these parts ; many steam- 
boats not only pay their expences, but yield 
large profits to their owners. 

First Day's Journey. — On both banks of the 
river, walls had been thrown up to prevent 
its overflowing the low but valuable fields 
used for the cultivation of sugar-canes. When 
the water is high, which was the case now, 
it reaches the foot of the w^alls ; and it is far 
from unusual for the impetuosity of the 
stream to defy all obstacles, to overthrow the 
bulwark, and to inundate the whole neigh- 
bourhood. Several places were shown to me, 
in the course of the first day's journey, where 
the river had, by its violence, made breaches 
of this kind, and overflowed large tracts of 
land which had been productive. Some of 
these inundations are so considerable, that 
they may be used for the transport of 
produce, but not until the inhabitants have 
raised hip:h walls on both banks, as on the 


parent stream. Others again, turning in a 
southerly direction, discharge themselves into 
the Gulph of Mexico ; thus carrying away 
large masses of water from the Mississippi, 
before it reaches New Orleans. These drains, 
or diverters, are known by the name of Bayous. 
The country on both banks of the Missis- 
sippi is flat, but displays the greatest fertility 
and the richest soil. Sugar, cotton, and rice, 
are cultivated every where, particularly the 
first article, as far as one hundred and fifty 
miles nortii of New Orleans: cotton then takes 
the lead. All the sugar-plantations that I 
could discover had a neat appearance, indi- 
cative of a certain profit to the owners. The 
sugar-cane does not succeed every year, but 
the profit of one good season is so great 
that the planters are richly remunerated for 
several indifferent crops. One of these hos- 
pitable, generous, and independent, men as- 
sured me that he purchased, ten years ago, 
for the sum of one hundred and sixty thousand 
dollars, (all borrowed money) a sugar-plan- 
tation, which had, notwithstanding several 
bad crops, already paid off one hundred and 
thirty thousand dollars, leaving only thirty 
thousand to be liquidated, which, he added, he 
could easily pay at the end of the next crop. 


No plantation, however, requires more 
capital or more Negroes for its cultivation 
than that of the sugar-cane: this circum- 
stance, in some measure, prevents compe- 
tition. The mortality among Negroes on such 
plantations is considerable, on account of the 
severe work which they have to go through 
in harvest-time, the sugar-cane requiring a 
quick process, which must be completed in a 
few days. The canes are generally cut in 
November and December, and the sugar im- 
mediately pressed out by rollers. The roots 
are left in the ground till the month of Fe- 
bruary, at which time they are set on fire, in 
order to clear the soil and prepare it for 
another crop. These fires produced a fine 
effect at night. The flames were white as 
snow, and disputed with the feeble light of 
the moon the right of illuminating the neigh- 
bourhood. I remained a good while on deck 
this night, enjoying this singular light, as 
as well as a warm delightful summer air in 
the month of February. 

Second Day. — The river continued of the 
same dark grey, dirty colour, filled with frag- 
ments of branches and trees, which already 
began to meet the eye at New Orleans. The 
curi^?nt was at the rate of about four miles 


an hour. When steamers go down the river, 
they generally keep in the middle, to acce- 
lerate their velocity by taking advantage of 
the strong current, in addition to the speed 
caused by the working of the machinery. 
But, when they proceed up the stream, they 
act differently, as they must then steer as 
near the shore as possible, in order to avoid 
the current. Numberless difficulties arise 
from this peculiar navigation, unknown on 
other rivers. The Mississippi, as I have be- 
fore observed, is not straight, but runs, with 
few exceptions, in semicircles, of which one 
commences where the other ends, in an oppo- 
site direction, forming bays and bends of such 
regularity, that pilots calculate their dis- 
tance by the number of them. The channel 
is generally deepest at the bottom of the 
bay, all trunks of trees, as well as earthy 
substances, following the current nearest to 
the outer side, thus leaving the interior to- 
lerably free from impediments. Steamboats 
must, therefore, at each of these bays, steer 
right across the stream to the interior part 
of the curve, continuing the same course, 
till another bay obliges them to cross the 
river again, a manoeuvre seldom effected 
without a serious struggle between the vessel 


and the stream, in which the former unques- 
tionably conquers, but not without trembling 
at the gigantic strength of her antagonist. 
This necessary precaution prolongs the voyage 
by doubling the distance, and consumes thrice 
the time required in going down the river, in 
addition to which must be mentioned the 
danger of falling in with snags, which, from 
the pressure of the current, incline down- 

In the course of this day we passed the 
small towns Baton Rouge and Francisville, 
in the vicinity of which several plantations 
are situated. To the north of these places, 
the banks begin to have a wilder appear- 
ance, and fewer human habitations are seen. 
Forests rise majestically, and, like many noble 
families, seem to pride themselves on their co- 
ronet and ancestry. Swamps increase in the 
same proportion, and Nature assumes, at each 
step, a different aspect. 

Third Day. — Early this morning, I was 
called on deck to view the wreck of a steam- 
boat, bound from Pittsburg to New Orleans, 
which had foundered the day before, having 
run foul of a snag, in consequence of which 
accident she filled with water in the space of 
two minutes: the fore- part alone was now 


visible. The passengers had only time to 
save themselves in the small boats before the 
steamer, with all their effects, was under 
water. This sight, which at any other place 
would have made a deep impression on the 
spectators, and caused many bitter reflexions, 
more or less applicable to our own insecure 
situation, had, however, no effect on those 
present. A few lives more or less were of 
very little consequence to them; the captain 
himself narrated the disastrous event with 
a nonchalance, which evidently showed the 
frequency of these accidents. 

A few miles further on we fell in with a 
snag-boat. This is a kind of steamer, made 
of two flat-bottomed boats, fastened to each 
other by strong beams, and provided with 
powerful engines, by which they are propelled 
with amazing force. The object is to extract 
and cut off snags found in the Mississippi : 
this operation, of essential importance to the 
navigation of the river, is thus performed. The 
boat starts with the greatest velocity against 
the current, taking the snags between the 
flat-bottomed boats, the beams of which raise 
them to an almost perpendicular elevation in 
the water. The boat is then checked in her 
speed, and all hands are employed in sawing 


or cutting off the trunk raised above the sur- 
face of the water. This operation can only be 
undertaken when the water is low; during- the 
remainder of the year, the boats are unservice- 
able. Their utility cannot be questioned, and 
it would be beneficial if their number on the 
Mississippi were increased. They cannot, it 
is true, be said to answer the purpose alto- 
gether, for many snags defy their attacks, and 
remain stationary, in spite of all exertions. 
Some are even dangerous after having been cut 
off, particularly at low water. It is, in my 
opinion, impossible to clear the Mississippi 
entirely of these incumbrances, the river re- 
ceiving continually an accession of them from 
trees washed down from its banks. On the 
Mississippi, these snag-boats are technically 
called Uncle Sam's tooth-pullers. 

The incessant windings of the river often 
conduct the water, after a course of many 
miles, to nearly the same spot whence it 
started. To avoid this circuitous route, and 
at the same time shorten the voyage, a pas- 
sage or canal has been cut through a narrow 
isthmus, at a short distance from the mouth 
of Red River. By means of this channel, 
which is not more than twenty-seven yards in 
length, a distance of eighteen miles is saved. 


On paper this certainly appears a gain of 
time, as regards the progress of the voyage ; 
but, in reality, these shortenings of the Mis- 
sissippi are of very little moment. The river, 
possessing already a strong current, receives 
an additional impetus; the fall which formerly 
took place in fifteen or tvi^enty miles being 
now confined to half a mile. Steamboats 
are therefore obliged to make great exertions 
to work against the stream, and take proba- 
bly as much time to proceed half a mile as 
they formerly needed to perform thirty times 
that distance. It is in vain to attempt, by 
digging, to render the Mississippi straighter 
than it is by nature : it cannot be mastered 
by the hand of man, and w^ill ever continue 
forming new bays, in defiance of all human 
efforts to change its course. 

I arrived towards evening at Natchez, the 
capital of the State of Mississippi. It is partly 
built on an eminence, on which most of the 
dwelling houses are situated: the remainder 
are near the river, occupied by the refuse 
population of the neighbourhood, among whom 
scenes of disorder and bloodshed are continu- 
ally occurring. The town is very flourishing, 
ships a considerable quantity of cotton to 
New Orleans, as well as to Liverpool, and 


contains a population of about three thousand 
souls. It was in this vicinity that the now 
extinct Indian race of the Natchez once re- 
sided — a race well known to those who have 
read Chateaubriand's beautiful and touching- 
novel, Atala. 

Fourth Day. — The first object that met my 
eyes this morning was a small town called 
Rodney, situated near the river, and which 
appeared to be a flourishing place. It carries 
on a considerable cotton trade. The river 
had, a few days before my arrival, under- 
mined a large warehouse, built on the shore, 
and containing about two hundred bales of 
cotton, the whole of which was precipitated 
into the stream. Such accidents are not un- 
common where the banks are so low as at 
Rodney, and excite very little sensation 
among the residents. 

The Mississippi had now assumed its well- 
known character of uniformity. The banks 
no longer presented any variety ; they were 
level, and wooded down to the water's edge. 
In most places, nothing but swamps could be 
seen for many miles around, and a kind of 
grey moss hung down from the branches of 
trees, which were destitute of leaves. Here 
and there might be seen a few scattered cot- 


ton-plantations, with solitary log-houses or 
Negro huts in the vicinity. They appeared 
to be protected from inundations by mud 
walls, not merely following the direction of 
the banks, but inclosing the plantations on 
all sides. For a while, the eye was gratified 
with the sight of cultivated fields, trees a 
little trimmed, human habitations, and, above 
all, living beings — a sight very rare on the 
majestic yet wild Mississippi. 

Fifth Day. — The steamboat generally stops 
twice every twenty-four hours, to take in fire- 
wood, which settlers on the banks, for a 
trifling remuneration, cut and pile up for the 
use of the first vessel that arrives. The con- 
sumption of this article on the Mississippi 
has of late years so much increased, that 
many emigrants, in spite of the insalubrity of 
the climate, have found it worth their while 
to settle on its banks, for the express purpose 
of carrying on the wood-trade with the steam- 
boats on an extensive scale. These wood- 
cutters are called Squatters, who fix their 
abode wherever they think proper, without 
asking permission of any person, or even 
inquiring if, by chance, the spot has a pro- 
prietor. Many are individuals banished from 
civilized society on account of their irregula- 


rities, who here seek an asylum, absolutely 
forgotten and unknown, and frame for them- 
selves laws, which are observed and executed 
by the interposition of the gun. Others, 
again, are peaceable emigrants from the 
Eastern States and from Europe, who settle 
in these parts with their wives and children, 
in hopes of ameliorating their circumstances. 
This class of people make regular and legal 
purchases of land for themselves and their 
offspring, with which the first mentioned 
never interfere. Trees are felled, fire-wood 
cut and sold, mud walls erected, the ground 
cleared, stumps, roots, and moss burnt, huts 
and sheds raised, and, finally, rich seed sown 
in the fertile soil, which yields a rich crop to 
the industrious cultivator, more than sufficient 
for the support of himself and his family. 

But disease finds its way to the humble 
cottage, at the same time that abundant 
harvests promise the emigrant a happier and 
more independent life than the peopled and 
cultivated parts which he has left behind. 
His wife and children fall away by degrees, 
till they are like spectres in appearance ; 
their healthy complexion fades, and gives 
place to a sickly, sallow hue. Truly fortunate 
is he who, at the end of the year, has not to 


deplore the loss of some member of his little 
circle ; he may then, indeed, joyfully cele- 
brate the return of this season. A few 
years' residence on the spot is said to obviate 
nearly all danger ; but, be this as it may, I 
never saw a hearty and healthy looking per- 
son on the banks of the Mississippi. What I 
have just mentioned respecting insalubrity 
does not apply to other rivers, where emi- 
grants may always find spots perfectly 
healthy. But the case is different on the 
Mississippi ; its banks are low and swampy, 
and must of necessity engender distempers 
among persons unaccustomed to marshy ex- 
halations. I am inclined to think that the 
banks of all the Western Rivers will be thickly 
settled before those of the Mississippi. Time 
will show if I err in my judgment. 

I landed, with a few of my fellow-travellers, 
at one of the firewood stations, with an inten- 
tion of killing some of the small green parrots, 
which were flying in thousands about in the 
w^ood. I had not advanced far from the land- 
ing-place before I discovered a hut built of 
logs, to all appearance for the purpose of 
saving the inmates from drowning in case of 
inundation. Indian corn had been raised, in 
the preceding season, on small adjoining lots of 


ground ; and trees stood like a solid wall close 
to the dwelling'. The whole gave me but a 
mean idea of the industry, activity, and agri- 
cultural experience of the proprietor. I opened 
the door, to which a few loose stones served 
as steps, and entered the hut. In the room 
were two elderly persons, a man and a woman, 
and a few half naked children, more like 
savages than civilized beings. The habita- 
tion was wretched in the extreme, denoting 
the greatest poverty. I had not yet had an 
opportunity of contemplating the old man, 
but when he addressed me thus : " Stranger, 
thou art welcome here !" I could not help sur- 
veying his countenance. His exterior bespoke 
a man of about forty, though he had seen at 
least sixty winters ; all he knew himself of 
his age was, that he was born in the 
eighteenth century. His look had a wild ex- 
pression, without exciting awe ; his hair fell 
in long dark ringlets down his back. His 
costume was singular, consisting of a coarse 
green coat, waistcoat of variegated colours, 
wide chocolate-coloured inexpressibles, no 
cravat, high shirt collar, following the impulse 
of the wind, and a low broad-brimmed hat. 

The eccentric appearance of this individual 
excited my curiosity to know something more 



of his history. I soon found I was not mis- 
taken in my conjecture : he was a Kentucky 
man by birth ; one of those uncultivated but 
hospitable and restless persons who never 
remain long' in one place, and fear civilized 
neighbours more than Indians and wild 
beasts. He had left Kentucky when young, 
finding that emigrants begg.n to settle in his 
neighbourhood, that is, within one hundred 
miles of his residence in the wood. 

'Tis true he shrank from men, even of his nation ; 

When they built up unto his darling trees. 
He moved some hundred miles off, for a station 

Where there were fewer houses and more ease. 
The inconvenience of civilization 

Is, that you neither can be pleased nor please*. 

Driven from place to place by dislike of 
neighbours, he had, several years ago, settled 
on the banks of the Mississippi, in hopes that 
its reputation for unhealthiness would deter 
emigrants from approaching* these regions ; 
but the prospect of lucre from the supply of 
steamboats with wood was too tempting to be 
resisted by poor Irish emigrants. They came 
within a distance of about one hundred miles 
of our Kentuckian. He could not possibly 
bear this intrusion. He could no lonaer 

* RvVon, " Don Juan," Canto viii. 


breathe freely, but suffered in his imaginary 
dungeon, and felt the weight of supposed 
fetters : he grumbled at encroachments and 
illegalities, and determined to cross the stream 
with a view of regaining liberty in States situ- 
ated in a more westerly direction. " I have 
no elbow-room," answered he, offended at my 
endeavours to dissuade him from the idea of 
removing to regions totally unknown to him. 
'' I cannot move about without seeing the 
nose of my neighbour sticking out between 
the trees. Thou dost not understand, stranger, 
what liberty is : don't meddle with it. I can- 
not bear a close confined town-air, and laugh 
at the fool who submits to wear chains, though 
he may be free if he chooses. Art thou, man, 
one of those who wear fetters ?" 

From this monologue, during which the 
appellation stranger and man, two epithets 
very common in the West in speaking to 
unknown persons, were often used, the con- 
versation turned upon the politics of the 
country. He apeared well versed in the form 
of government of his own State, expressed 
himself firmly and energetically on the good 
and bad parts of the Constitution, concluding 
his remarks by a glowing panegyric on Henry 
Clay. I heard him with surprise: it was 

H 2 


strange to meet with a politician in the shape 
of a poor Kentuckian, on the banks of the Mis- 
sissippi, who had wandered all his life from 
place to place, and passed his time with his 
family in absolute solitude in the woods. But 
this is a characteristic feature in Americans. 
They are, from infancy, accustomed to speak 
freely of the acts of Government, of the Con- 
stitution, and the influential men in the coun- 
try. New^spapers, circulating* in infinite num- 
bers in all parts, and published in the smallest 
town in the Western forests, keep alive opi- 
nions thus early inculcated, and confirm their 
minds in prejudices, originating in party- 
spirit. No consideration can silence their 
tongues : they express themselves unreser- 
vedly on the measures of Government, for 
they conceive that the country belongs as 
much to them as to any citizen of the North- 
ern States ; and they are as anxious for the 
welfare of the Union as the individual who 
advocates its cause before Congress. During 
the whole course of my journey, I never met 
v^^ith an American, however poor, who was 
deficient in knowledge as to the form of go- 
vernment of his own State, or that of the 
Union ; and, more than once, on board the 
steamboat, Louisiana, did I listen with the 


greatest delight to political discussions among 
persons of the lower class, on topics connected 
with the prosperity of the Union. Hr)w dif- 
ferent is the state of information amonp- 
similar classes in Europe ! 

The fire- wood was now already taken on 
board, and the sound of a great bell recalled 
the scattered passengers to the steamer. I left 
my new acquaintance in great haste, in the 
midst of a violent attack on some, in his 
opinion, unwise measures of the Federal Go- 
vernment ; wishing him a pleasant journey 
and more elbow-room in the States west of 
Mississippi. Our sportsmen came running in 
every direction from the wood, carrying on 
their shoulders a variety of birds, among 
which parrots were the most conspicuous, on 
account of the beauty of their plumes. Hardly 
were we on board, before the wheels began to 
move, and in a minute the steamboat darted 
forward with the rapidity of an arrow. 

The same evening, after dark, we had the 
misfortune to lose one of our crew, who acci- 
dentally fell overboard. The machinery was 
immediately stopped, as soon as his cries for 
assistance were heard, and a boat lowered to 
pick him up ; but the current was so rapid 
that he was carried awav several hundred 


yards before any aid could be afforded. I 
heard him for at least two minutes calling out 
for assistance, his voice growing- weaker and 
weaker; and at last all was silent. Darkness 
rendered it impossible to save him. The boat 
returned, after having at great risk vainly 
tried to rescue him. The Mississippi would 
not surrender its victim. He was drowned, 
leaving in Ohio a widow with several children 
in indigent circumstances. A subscription 
was raised on board for the benefit of the un- 
fortunate survivors ; but how little could it 
compensate for the loss of a husband and a 
father ! 

Sixth Day. — The territory of Arkansas was 
now on my left. The banks continued low 
and woody as before. A number of islands^ 
lay scattered in the river, formed partly by 
floating trunks of trees, collected among 
heaps of sand and mud, partly by inunda- 
tions, which have cut off pieces of land, and 
thus converted them into islands. In the 
course of this day's trip, we passed the mouth 
of the Arkansas, a river two thousand one 
hundred and seventy miles in length, giving 

* There are not fewer than one hundred and twenty-five ishmds 
in the Mississippi, from the mouth of tlie Ohio lo the Gulph of 


name to the territory through which it runs. 
Little Rock, the capital, is situated on its 
banks, in the centre of the State, about three 
hundred and fifty miles from the Mississippi. 
There is a constant communication between 
this town and New Orleans by means of 

Seventh Day. — This was the first time I 
saw an Indian since I left New Orleans ; he 
was standing' on shore, with a gun on his 
shoulders, leaning against a tree, his attitude 
and looks showing that he was absorbed in deep 
contemplation. Perhaps he was mourning the 
degradation of his race ; perhaps recalling to 
memory the happy times when his ancestors 
ruled over these regions, when the Mississippi 
was his, and no white man dared to navigate 
its waters. Alone on the soil whence civili- 
zation has driven him, and to which native 
inclinations and habits could no longer attach 
him, he contemplated, probably for the last 
time, with feelings of bitter sorrow, the country 
he could no longer call his own. The rem- 
nant of the race to which he belonged had, in 
obedience to the mandates from Washington, 
long ago evacuated the country, and removed 
westward of the Mississippi : he was perhaps 
the only one who still lingered on his native 


soil, bewailing' his unhappy fate. " Our day 
is past !" seemed imprinted on his downcast 
looks. Unfortunate offspring of a mighty 
race, thy day is indeed past on that soil 
which covers the ashes of thy forefathers ; 
thou canst live only in a foreign land ! Look 
out for it whilst yet some of thy people re- 
main ; collect the precious relics; build thy 
Troy in new regions ; and die at least among 
those whom thou callest thy countrymen ! 

It is impossible to give, with any degree of 
accuracy, a statement of the number of In- 
dians, descendants of the former inhabitants, 
still remaining in the United States. Tables, 
which I have examined, do not agree as to 
the amount : one of them states sixty different 
tribes, with two hundred and two thousand 
souls, as the nearest approximation to the 
truth. Another again says they do not exceed 
one hundred and eighty thousand. All these 
statements are, however, nrade at random ; 
most of the Indian tribes leading* such a 
straggling- life, that it is impossible to take a 
census. That they annually decrease is 
certain. This decline is not only perceptible 
in the vicinity of civilization, but, strange 
enough, in the remotest regions, where they 
never heard of the existence of Whites. Two 


tribes alone, the Choctaws and Cherokees, 
are said to be on the increase : the first- 
mentioned bear, of all Indians, the greatest 
animosity to the Whites. I believe, however, 
that many experienced Americans believe, 
with me, that the Indians will one day live 
only in the annals of history. This total ex- 
tinction will probably be a subject often 
touched upon by poets ; but, after all, it is 
only a natural consequence of intellectual 
progress and of the march of civilization. A 
savage cannot exist by the side of an enlight- 
ened man : let him be treated with kindness, 
with tenderness, still he will pine away, like 
a feeble and inferior plant, beside the rich 
and luxuriant vegetation of the South. The 
wild vine will not thrive in our cultivated 
orchards : it either dies, or must be grafted on 
a better stock. So with the Indian. Many a 
Red Man will vanish from the earth, but a 
nobler and better nature will be infused into 
others. Time will afterwards amalgamate 
the civilized descendants of savages with the 
Whites in general, and thus Indians will 
cease to live on the earth. 

Night had already overtaken us before the 
steamer arrived at Memphis. This is the 
port through which the trade in cotton with 


the interior of the State of Tennessee is carried 
on : considerable quantities of that commodity 
are shipped here for New Orleans, from which 
Memphis is about seven hundred and eighty 
miles distant. 


The sun set, and up rose the yellow moon : 
The devil 's in the moon for mischief. 


Eighth Day. — The sun had just risen above 
the right bank, and few of the travellers were 
yet awake, when the dreadful cry, " Fire on 
board !" reached our ears. Every one rushed 
from his birth, and hastened into the saloon, 
in hopes of escaping while there vras yet time. 
Confusion, for the space of a minute, was 
general. Men and women ran against each 
other in the utmost consternation, with faces 
pale as death. I abstain from further de- 
tails of this frightful moment, lest I should 
be accused by my unfortunate companions, 
particularly by those of the fair sex, of levity 
and indifference to their sufferings. It is 
easy to imagine the comic as well as tragic 


scenes which naturally take place on such an 
occasion. Here, therefore, I shall leave a 
chasm in my narrative, and only resume it at 
the period when the fire was luckily extin- 
guished, and tranquillity restored. 

The fire was occasioned by the dilapidated 
state of the kitchen chimney. Being placed 
close to the outer wall of our cabin, it would 
never have occasioned any accident, had it 
not been in so bad a condition. The compo- 
nent parts, it appeared, had given way, leav- 
ing an opening towards the wall, large enough 
to communicate heat and sparks of fire ; these 
first blackened and afterwards ignited the 
dry wood- work. An early discovery of the 
fire enabled the captain to extinguish it at 
once. As soon as the danger was over, I 
asked if he intended to repair the chimney, 
that we might not, in the course of our voy- 
age, be a second time exposed to a similar 
catastrophe. His answer confirmed me in 
my former opinion as to the prevalence of 
neglect and carelessness of human life in the 
Western States. '' I have so many times gone 
up and down the Mississippi with the chim- 
ney in this state, without any accident hap- 
pening to me, that I do not see the necessity 
of making any alterations or taking any pre- 


caution against an imaginary danger." Ac- 
cordingly, we were obliged to continue our 
trip with the broken chimney, whicli would 
in all probability more than once have set 
the vessel on fire, had not some of the pas- 
sengers, at intervals, thrown water on the 
heated walls. 

I have now proceeded a considerable dis- 
tance up the Mississippi, without having said 
a word about the company who happened to 
be on board. My fellow-passengers from 
New Orleans were chiefly persons from States 
bordering on the Atlantic Ocean, returning 
home after a short residence in the latter city. 
I passed in their agreeable society moments 
which would otherwise have been very tedi- 
ous. But, at every landing-place, new^ passen- 
gers, chiefly farmers, w^ere taken on board, 
some of whom were in reality '' half horse, 
half alligator ;" others again seemed to pos- 
sess a good fund of information, and manners 
entitling them to the first place among men 
even in the Eastern States. They were ge- 
nerally frank, hospitable, and jovial, having 
apparently nothing on the mind to depress 
their spirits. Their language was as original 
as the subjects they discussed. No conver- 
sation, however brief, could take place, with- 


out a due proportion of anecdotes full of 
jocoseness ; and in less than five minutes 
generally the whole auditory were convulsed 
with laughter. But these were not the only 
persons added to our number. We also re- 
ceived an accession of those despicable beings, 
who make gambling their profession, and live 
upon their winnings. Every steamboat from 
Pittsburg to New Orleans is filled with such 
persons, who form regular societies among 
themselves, to '' pluck young and inexperien- 
ced pigeons." 

A number of disgraceful contrivances, il- 
lustrative of their profession, were mentioned 
to me, as practised by these hard-hearted 
gamblers to lull suspicion, and plunder the 
unwary. The ablest and most barefaced crou- 
piers of London and Paris are hardly more 
dexterous, or can perform their legerdemain 
tricks with more apparent fairness than these 
sharpers. How often industrious and honest 
farmers return in despair to their wives and 
children, totally ruined and reduced to beg- 
gary, after having visited New Orleans, sold 
their crop, received the proceeds, and, on the 
home voyage, fallen into the hands of despe- 
rate gamesters who have stripped them of 
every dollar ! 


Fatigued with beholding the cold-blooded 
looks of the gamblers, and the pale visages 
of the victims at the hazard-table, I hastened 
into the open air, anxious to shun the sight 
of men, clearly endeavouring to ruin each 
other. The evening was cool, but serene; the 
stars appeared in all their brightness. I 
seated myself on deck, trying to dispel by the 
contemplation of objects before me the recol- 
lection of the scene I had just witnessed. 
Around me was Nature, majestic and grand ; 
a stream so wide that both banks could not 
be seen at the same time, and a forest re- 
sembling a massive, dark, interminable wall. 
In the fore-part of the steamboat were a group 
of engineers, whose blackened countenances 
were now and then brightened by the re- 
flexion of the immense fires in the furnaces, 
and who laughed immoderately at every jo- 
cular expression. A few merry songs were 
also heard issuing from the same jovial group, 
each sally of boisterous mirth generally con- 
cluding with a copious libation of whisky. 

In another corner, half a dozen Kentuck- 
ians were stretched on their backs, relating 
to each other their many hair-breadth escapes, 
and affirming on oath that none had better 
guns or wives than themselves. Yonder again, 


a few young passengers were dancing to the 
sound of an old broken fiddle : and in another 
place an aged matron related to listening 
children how barbarously the Indians had 
slaughtered and eaten her ancestors of blessed 
memory. Here, a man, advanced in years, 
was reading passages from the Bible to a nu- 
merous auditory — there, two champions were 
wrestling. In a word, I saw and heard no- 
thing but singing, laughing, dancing, and in- 
nocent mirth around me, until night was far 
advanced, and a few game-cocks, confined in 
cages, informed me by their crowing that 
dawn was near at hand. Every one repaired 
to his birth, and I hastened to mine, far better 
satisfied with the time I had thus spent than 
if I had watched the gamblers gathering their 
ill-gotten harvest. 

Ninth Day. — Early this morning, we per- 
ceived the State of Missouri on our left, and, 
in the forenoon, Kentucky, on the opposite 
shore. The landscape continued to be of the 
same character as before. Towards noon 
we arrived at New Madrid, formerly a flou- 
rishing town, to which may now be applied 
uhi Troja fuit, !n the year 1812, this 
place was visited by a succession of those 
dreadful natural phenomena, earthquakes, so 


common in the South, which have buried cities 
without number, and consigned millions of 
human beings to a premature grave. The 
earthquake that destroyed New Madrid is 
described as having been peculiarly violent : 
historians even state that the shocks were 
the strongest ever experienced. It is not the 
number of victims which, in this instance, in- 
spires awe, the town being small and the 
neighbourhood little peopled. 

But the extent of country which was sha- 
ken, new moulded, and swallowed up, by this 
extraordinary convulsion, was so consider- 
able, that it is still a matter of surprise how 
any living being could possibly survive the 
catastrophe. From the river St. Francis to 
the mouth of the Ohio, a distance of about 
three hundred miles, the shock laid waste 
every thing with dreadful violence. Lakes 
and islands were formed in place of sand-hills, 
and valleys appeared where lakes formerly 
existed. Nearly all the houses in New Madrid 
were destroyed : the cemetery, with its silent 
inmates, was precipitated into the Missis- 
sippi.* Since that time, the town has not 
been able to recover its former flourishing 

• See "Recollections of the last Ten Years passed in the Valley 
Mississippi," by T. Flint ; and "Westward Ho !" by Panldnig. 

of Mississippi 


state. A few miserable dwellings only now 
show where New Madrid formerly stood. 
Although in ruins, the place is still a princi- 
pal rendezvous for flat boats descending- the 
Mississippi. As far as I could see with the 
naked eye, boats of this kind were lying fast- 
ened to each other. The Mississippi itself 
was almost hid by their number. I cannot 
give a better description of this singular 
scene than by quoting Mr. Flint's own words, 
in his excellent work on the Valley of Missis- 
sippi, in which he resided ten years : — 

'* In the spring, one hundred boats have 
landed here in a day. The boisterous gaiety 
of the hands ; the congratulations of acquaint- 
ances, who have met here from immense 
distances ; the moving picture of life on board 
the boats ; the numerous animals, large and 
small, which they carry; the different ladings, 
the evidence of the increasing agriculture 
above ; and, more than all, the immense dis- 
tances which they have already traversed, 
afford a copious fund of meditation. In one 
place there are boats loaded with pine plank, 
from the forests south-west of New York. In 
another quarter, there are numerous boats 
with the ' Yankee notions' of Ohio. In 
another quarter are landed together the boats 



of Old Kentucky, with their whisky, hemp, 
tobacco, bagging', and bale-rope ; with all the 
other articles of the produce of their soil. From 
Tennessee there are the same articles, toge- 
ther with boats loaded with bales of cotton ; 
from Illinois and Missouri, cattle, horses, and 
the general produce of the Western Country, 
together with peltry and lead from Missouri. 
Some boats are loaded with corn in bulk and 
in the ear; others are loaded with pork in 
bulk ; others with barrels of apples and pota- 
toes, and great quantities of dried apples and 
peaches. Others have loads of cider, and 
what is called 'cider-royal,' or cider that 
has been strengthened by boiling or freezing. 
Other boats are loaded with furniture, tools, 
domestic and agricultural implements; in 
short, the numerous products of the ingenuity, 
speculation, manufacture, and agriculture, of 
the whole upper country of the West. They 
have come from regions thousands of miles 
apart. They have floated to a common point 
of union : the surfaces of the boats cover some 
acres. Dunghill fowls are fluttering over the 
roofs, as invariable appendages; the piercing 
note of Chanticleer is heard ; the cattle low ; 
the horses trample as in their stables; the 
swine utter the cries of fighting with each 

I 2 


other ; the turkeys gobble ; the dogs of a hun- 
dred regions become acquainted ; the boatmen 
travel about from boat to boat, make inquiries 
and acquaintances, agree to * lash boats,' as it 
is called, and form alliances, to yield mutual 
assistance to each other on the way to New 
Orleans. After an hour or two passed in this 
way, they spring on shore, 'to raise the wind' 
in the village. If they tarry all night, as is 
generally the case, it is well for the people of 
the town if they do not become riotous in the 
course of the evening; in which case, strong- 
measures are adopted, and the proceedings on 
both sides are summary and decisive. With 
the first dawn all is bustle and motion ; and, 
amidst shouts, and trampling of cattle, and 
barking of dogs, and crowing of the dunghill 
fowls, the fleet is in half an hour all under 
way ; and when the sun rises, nothing is seen 
but the broad stream rolling on as before." 

This evening I bade farewell to the mighty 
Mississippi. By the different colour of the 
water, for many miles, I had already perceived 
the vicinity of the Ohio. " The Beautiful 
River," which is a translation of the word 
Ohio, has a much clearer and purer mass of 
water than the troubled and ever muddy- 
Mississippi. The Ohio was formerly so clear, 


that the bottom could in most places easily 
be seen : this transparency has greatly sub- 
sided since cultivation has increased on its 
shores. The difference of colour between the 
Mississippi and the Ohio is, nevertheless, so 
conspicuous, that they are easily distinguished 
when running' beside each other. They ap- 
pear like two champions meeting for the pur- 
pose of deciding a contest for life or death. 
They measure each other's strength for a 
long while before they prepare their sinewy 
arms for battle. Both are strangers to fear, 
but rejoice at the idea of being opposed to 
an adversary famed for courage and valour. 
When, at last, the struggle commences, the 
bowels of the earth tremble. Nature stands 
mute, anxiously waiting the issue of the con- 
flict. The Ohio is vanquished, and the Missis- 
sippi, now furious from resistance, rages with 
additional violence over its extensive domain. 
At the mouth of the Ohio, three different 
States are seen at once, namely, Missouri, Illi- 
nois, and Kentucky, forming the banks of the 
two rivers that here meet : to me the appear- 
ance was that of a large lake, one of those 
immense seas so often found in America. 
But every thing connected with the Missis- 
sippi is grand and gigantic. 


Tenth Day. — The banks of the Ohio, for an 
extent of about fifty miles, exhibit the same 
features as those of the Mississippi : flat, 
woody, uniform, and full of swamps. Even 
the width of the stream is the same. At 
length, the scene changes : rising* grounds 
succeed each other — here and there are flat 
tracts of land, on which stand thick and 
rich woods — the banks draw closer and closer 
— every where are scattered islands of the 
most picturesque appearance. It was no 
more the grand, dark, and majestic Missis- 
sippi: every thing was now of a smiling, 
agreeable, enlivening character to the mind, 
hitherto disposed to depression. Cultivated 
fields became more frequent : Indian corn was 
seen in many places ; even cotton-fields often 
met the eye, too long accustomed to wild Na- 
ture. Human habitations also made their 
appearance in greater number than before, 
and domesticated animals wandered on the 
banks, instead of snakes and alligators. The 
barking of dogs and the lowing of cattle 
were novel sounds, extremely deliglitful to 
those whose ears were filled with nothing 
but the noise occasioned by the uniform and 
shot-like report of steam, escaping from the 
*' high pressure" engine. Kach step announced 


the power of civilization to remould and ame- 
liorate the wild aspect of Nature. 

In the course of this day, we passed the 
mouth of two rivers, the Tennessee and the 
Cumberland, hardly known by name, but 
well deserving to rank with many well-known 
streams. The first takes its source in Vir- 
ginia, runs through Tennessee and Alabama, 
and discharges itself into the Ohio in the 
State of Kentucky. Its length has been dif- 
ferently stated : some pretend it is one thou- 
sand two hundred miles, others again about 
eight hundred. The Tennessee is navigable 
for large boats for more than six hundred 
miles. Cumberland River rises among the 
Cumberland Mountains, in the eastern part 
of Kentucky, and runs in various directions 
through this State and Tennessee. Nashville, 
the capital of the latter State, is situated on 
this river, the length of which is reported to 
be from about five hundred to six hundred 

A little further on we came to a hamlet, 
called Golconda. When this name was men- 
tioned, long before the place was in sight, I 
naturally expected to see a town, bearing 
some resemblance, in point of splendour and 
romantic situation, to the oriental city of the 


same name. But how terribly was T disap- 
pointed in my anticipations : thirty miserable 
houses, situated near the river, on a flat piece 
of ground, constitute the whole town. No 
splendour, no magnificence, no grandeur ; 
every thing bore the stamp of poverty and 
wretchedness. Such disappointments are very 
frequent in the New World. Names are given 
to towns without reflexion, without judgment ; 
they are often christened by names of which 
many already exist, as, for instance, Man- 
chester, of which the State of New York has 
three or four ; Ohio, two ; Vermont, New Hamp- 
shire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsyl- 
vania, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, 
Indiana, Missouri, and Mississippi, each one. 
On other occasions, names are given to towns, 
calling to mind places that formerly existed, 
without having the slightest resemblance to 
them. This is exactly the case with Golconda 
and several others, showing a want of taste 
and judgment on the part of the founders. 
Why not preserve the Indian names, always 
characteristic and sonorous? 

It is next to impossible to remember how 
many towns of the same name exist in America. 
Even natives often make mistakes. 1 recollect 
reading one day, in a newspaper in New York, 


a long- description of a town called Man- 
chester, said to be situated in the State of 
Mississippi, having' a population of three 
thousand inhabitants, newspapers, a bank, 
with a capital of three hundred thousand 
dollars, seven steamboats plying between it 
and New Orleans, a railroad, &c. The de- 
scription was drawn up with so much ability 
and in so seducing a style, that my curiosity 
was excited to know something more of this 
modern Manchester. I accordingly had re- 
course to every book that had been published 
on the statistics of the State of Mississippi. 
I referred to general and special maps, but all 
in vain ; no such town as ^Manchester was to 
be found. This tended to convince me that 
all the books and maps I had examined were 
too old, and, under this impression, I went to 
one of the principal booksellers, to investi- 
gate the matter more thoroughly. I again 
took the trouble of looking over, with the 
strictest scrutiny, all the new publications 
and statistical accounts having reference to 
the subject ; but the Mississippi Manchester 
could no where be discovered. An elderly 
gentleman, who had for a long time witnessed 
my eager researches, now addressed me in 
he following manner: ''Search as long as 


you please, you will never find Manchester in 
Mississippi. The town has probably been 
founded within these few months, during* 
which no map has been made. To raise a 
place from nothing' to a certain state of pros- 
perity requires, in the West, only as many 
weeks as in Europe years, nay, centuries. 
Were new maps drawn for every town thus 
sprung up, no month would elapse without 
making a similar labour necessary. A man 
would have occupation enough, were he to 
devote his time exclusively to the ascertaining 
what new places have sprung up during his 
short life-time. He who has no leisure or 
disposition to follow this study closely must 
content himself with the information derived 
from mere rumour of rising towns, and blindly 
confide in it ; for it often happens that we 
hear of new cities, with banks, newspapers, 
steamboats, and cotton trade, without being 
able to ascertain their exact situation, till 
after the lapse of several years, perhaps five 
or ten, when they at length have the honour 
of a place assigned to them on the maps. 
Follow, therefore, my advice: abstain from 
all research ; it is perfectly useless." 

On arriving at Shawneetown this evening, 
we encountered a real northern snow-storm. 


The cold was intense, and felt doubly so to 
those coming- from the mild climate of New 
Orleans. Snow fell in such abundance that 
the steersman could no longer distinguish 
any object near him, and grumbled at the 
darkness and cold. Under these circum- 
stances, it was determined to lie-to and wait 
till the morning. 

Eleventh Buy. — The storm continued, though 
not so violently. The River Wabash, which 
divides Illinois from Indiana, and runs into 
the Ohio, could hardly be seen through the 
thick veil of snow-flakes that were flying 
about. We passed the small hamlets of 
Henderson, Owenboro, Rockport, and Troy, 
consisting, as usual, of a few wooden houses, 
which I did not visit on account of the snow- 
storm that still continued. 

Twelfth Bay. — A clear and beautiful though 
cold morning. The stream appeared a little 
narrower, and the banks were higher than 
those I had previously seen. Among the 
small places which I passed this day, Bran- 
denburg had a peculiarly picturesque ap- 
pearance. The houses are built between 
two steep mountains, extending as far as the 

river, the sides of which are also covered 

with dwellings of various kinds. 


Towards night we discovered the Falls of 
Louisville, as they are called, or shallows, 
which, when the water is high, may easily 
be crossed by steamers, but are very dan- 
gerous when it is low. A channel has been 
made, by which these shallows maybe avoided ; 
but the expence of passing it is so heavy, 
that it is only in case of necessity that navi- 
gators have recourse to it. 

Louisville is unquestionably the most flou- 
rishing town in Kentucky. Its situation near 
the shallows just mentioned has not a little 
contributed to its remarkable increase of late 
years. All goods sent from Pittsburg to New 
Orleans must here be unloaded and re-shipped, 
before the vessels can continue their voyage. 
Hence, a lucrative commission-trade is carried 
on, which puts a certain capital in circulation 
in the place, and diffuses wealth and comfort 
among its inhabitants. The town had, in 
the year 1800, a population of only six hun- 
dred souls : in 1830, it had increased to ten 
thousand three hundred and thirty-six. The 
exterior of many of the houses, as well as the 
width of the streets, bespeak general afflu- 
ence ; notwithstanding all this, Louisville 
left but an indifferent impression upon me. 
1 quitted it without regret, hastening on 


board the first steamboat proceeding to Cin- 

Of all the steamers that I have seen in 
America, as well as in Europe, this was un- 
questionably the worst. Her name was the 
Ben Franklin. The vessel itself was rotten 
from keel to deck, and fitted up besides in 
the most inconvenient manner. The engine 
had a very arduous task to produce a velocity 
of four miles an hour, and the paddles were 
so badly constructed that they hardly ever 
touched the surface of the water. The dis- 
tance from Louisville to Cincinnati is only 
one hundred and fifty miles, and yet it re- 
quired forty-seven hours to complete it, during 
which period we ran aground eleven times, 
lost both chimneys by their becoming en- 
tangled in branches projecting from the thick 
wood on shore, had the misfortune to disable 
one of the sailors, and consign another to a 
watery grave, besides meeting with a number 
of other mishaps. Add to this the company, 
exclusively composed of professed gamblers, 
whose whole time, night and day, was taken 
up in ruining each other at the faro-table. 

In the cabin of this boat was a fac-simile 
of a letter written by Franklin, framed and 
glazed. Although its contents may not be 


unknown to many of my readers, yet I cannot 
refrain from giving a copy of it in this place, 
as being' highly characteristic of the great 
man, and representing him in true colours : 

Philadelphia^ July 5th, 1775. 
Mr. Strahan, 

You are a member of Parliament, and one of that majority which 
has doomed my Country to Destruction — You have begun to burn 
our Towns and murder our People — Look upon your hands! — They 
are stained with the Blood of Your Relations! — You and 1 were 
long friends : — You are now my Enemy, and 

I am 

B. Franklin. 

At last I arrived at Cincinnati. The fame 
of the extraordinary rise of this city had 
beforehand excited my curiosity to the 
highest degree. Cincinnati was never men- 
tioned in America without the addition of 
such surnames as " The Wonderful," '' The 
Western Queen," &c. Flattering epithets of 
this kind are generally exaggerated ; at least 
they have often appeared so to me : but, 
in this instance, they were justified. Cincin- 
nati is in every respect an extraordinary city; 
the only one, perhaps, on record, which has, 
in the course of twenty-five years, sprung up 
from nothing to be a place of great conse- 
quence, with a population exceeding thirty 


thousand souls*. Banks, University, Mu- 
seum, Tlieatre, Athenaeum, Bazaar, and Hos- 
pitals, are now seen, where, a quarter of a 
century ago, nothing- but the primitive forest 
was standing untouched. On the spot where, 
not long since, the roaring of wild beasts and 
the yells of Indians were alone heard, the 
machines of manufactories and the hammers 
of workshops are now in motion. Where a 
solitary canoe formerly lay, from fifty to one 
hundred steamboats, besides other craft, now 
ride at anchor. 

Cincinnati, with its three thousand houses, 
gardens and hills, churches and public build- 
ings, its smoking manufactories and nume- 
rous wharfs, its active trade and bustle of 
hundreds of waggons and carts, is really an 
extraordinary sight. Who is not amazed at 
this rapid advance, particularly on calling to 
mind, as many persons now living may do, 
the time when the wigwam of the Indian was 
the only hut in these regions ! If twenty-five 
years have effected this metamorphosis, what 
may we not expect when this city is a century 
old ! Cincinnati may not, probably, increase 

• The first settlement near Cincinnati was in the year 1789 ; but 
it was only in 1808 that lots of o^round were sold for building houses. 
The population in 1830 amounted to 26,515. 


hereafter in the same ratio ; but that it will 
advance rapidly cannot be doubted. Situated 
on a spot in every respect favourable for com- 
merce, and surrounded on all sides by a fertile 
country, it must continue to flourish and gain 
an accession to its population. It may well 
be asked — Where and when will this increase 
end ? 

The city is situated near the River Ohio, in 
a valley, twelve miles in circumference, and 
surrounded by a rising- ground, which is seen 
in the distance. The river divides this rich 
and well cultivated valley into two almost 
equal parts : on the north side is Cincinnati, 
and, opposite to it, Newport and Covington, 
two small manufacturing towns, separated 
from each other by the River Licking, w^hich 
discharges itself into the Ohio. 

Cincinnati has already the appearance of a 
large city. The first glance leaves an impres- 
sion of splendour, which the traveller is far 
from anticipating in these remote western 
regions. Handsome brick houses, wide streets, 
and magnificent public buildings, strike the 
astonished eye of the stranger, who expected 
to find only wooden houses and narrow lanes. 
Near the bridge, he sees the same bustle and 
activity as on the quays of New^ Orleans and 


New York. Advancing into the town, he 
sees at each step brilliant shops, exquisites 
and dandies lounging about, and ladies at- 
tired in the last Parisian fashions. On enter- 
ing the hotel, he finds himself in a five-story 
building, containing apartments without num- 
ber, and halls almost endless. Fatigued, after 
wandering about for an hour in these pas- 
sages, which require months to get fully 
acquainted with, he throws himself at last 
carelessly on an excellent ottoman, inquiring, 
with an air of nonchalance, of a group of 
waiters constantly in attendance, " Is there 
any newspaper in Cincinnati ?" " Sixteen 
daily journals and periodicals are published 
here at present," answers the waiter, hasten- 
ing to bring to the inquirer not only these, 
but a number of others printed in different 
places of the Union. Satiated with news, 
he next wishes to ascertain (rather from 
habit, acquired during* many years' travelling, 
than with the hope of finding so far west any 
buildings but huts), whether *' there is any 
thing worth seeing ?" " Please to look over the 
map of the town, sir," is the answer. A week 
is not sufficient to gratify the curiosity of 
the stranger who wishes to see all that is 
interesting at Cincinnati. 



Among' objects invariably shown to visiters 
is the Bazaar, built by the celebrated au- 
thoress of " Domestic Manners in America*," 
but, for want of means, left by her in an unfi- 
nished state. A more absurd compound of 
every species of architecture never entered 
the head of any architect. The sublime in 
the Gothic style, the tasteful in the Greek, 
the ridiculous in the Chinese — have all here 
been grouped together into an unnatural and 
disfigured whole, which can neither be called 
a Gothic church, a Greek temple, nor a 
Chinese pagoda, but partakes a little of 
each. This building is as ill adapted for a 
bazaar as for a dwelling-house ; and when 
Mrs. Trollope, the first proprietress, could not 
make it answer, it was converted into an 
hotel, or a place for public entertainments and 
balls. But even this plan was soon found 
objectionable ; for the inhabitants of the 
town were far from being passionately fond 
of dancing. " What is now to be done with 
this buikling ?" was a question put by a 
stranger in my presence. " Convert it into a 
church," was answered by the person who 
showed the house to travellers. 

• Mrs. Trollope. I shall hereaffer have occasion to speak more 
fully conceniiu^ this writer. 


Mrs. Trollope quitted Cincinnati, extremely 
disappointed in her expectations of mak- 
ing- a rapid fortune, and angry with the 
ungrateful inhabitants, who, in her opinion, 
could not appreciate the embellishment which 
she had bestowed on their town by the erec- 
tion of the bazaar. How her feelings found 
vent is as well known in Europe as in Ame- 
rica. From her sharpened pen issued a 
work, which darted fire and flames over un- 
fortunate Cincinnati. From this moment it 
may be said that the town began to attract 
general attention. The contemplated reproof 
was the greatest benefit she could bestow 
upon it. The name of Cincinnati made 
the tour of the globe with the rapidity of 
the wind ; the peculiarities of its inhabitants, 
in manners as well as in mode of living, were 
no longer veiled in mystery from the world. 
Assuredly, not a few laughed heartily at the 
ludicrous and satirical picture ; but impartial 
judges discerned, through the sarcasm, suffi- 
cient ground for admiration and deeper re- 
search respecting its object. Is there any 
thing in existence so serious and sublime 
that it may not be turned into ridicule and 
derision ? 

I freely admit that many things in Cincin- 

K 2 


nati may appear strange, nay, even extort 
laughter, especially from one accustomed to 
European habits and manners ; but surprise 
vanishes upon closer examination. Is it 
reasonable to expect in this place the same 
state of society as in the larger towns of Eu- 
rope ? Is it reasonable to expect, I repeat, 
that a town, whose age only dates back a 
quarter of a century, should possess the same 
refinement of manners, and have made the 
same progress in arts and sciences, as a place 
of several hundred years' standing? I thought 
I could discover among its citizens a burning 
desire, a strong predilection, for every thing 
new. Accustomed constantly to see emi- 
grants, with whom they form new acquaint- 
ances, they show a degree of indifference to 
each other, and this characteristic influences 
their actions, and stamps them with a certain 
want of feeling. 

" A deep and permanent recollection of 
an absent guest," says Flint,'^ in speaking 
of the citizens of Cincinnati, '' is soon dis- 
pelled by the unmeaning reception pre- 
pared for the stranger. In the midst of 
a population so composed, of which a great 
proportion is daily moving, and cannot be 

• Flint's " History and Geop^raphy of the Mississippi Valley." 


said to belong* exclusively to Cincinnati, who 
can expect to find refined manners, arts, and 
sciences ? But another generation will come, 
which, born on the spot, will forget the preju- 
judices and peculiarities of parents. The 
light of intellect, now only glimmering, will 
then burst into ablaze, and, diffusing its influ- 
ence over all classes, equalize the inequalities 
in the character of the people. Who can 
doubt of the beneficial effect it will produce 
on the general mass of people in the Western 
States ?" 

After a short stay in this interesting town, 
I continued my journey towards the North, 
and went on board a steamboat proceeding 
to W^heeling. This journey occupied about 
three days, although the distance is only 
three hundred and sixty miles : long deten- 
tions at landing-places, indifferent machinery 
on board, an unskilful steersman, &c., may be 
mentioned as some of the causes of this slow 
progress. The landscape on both sides of the 
river was invariably the same as on the banks 
of the Ohio, near its outlet into the Missis- 

The author* of *' Men and Manners in Ame- 
rica" says in one place: '' The great defect 

* Hamilton, author of ''Cyril Tliornton." 


of the scenery of the Ohio is want of variety. 
During the first day F was delighted ; but, on 
the second, something of the charm was gone ; 
and at length its monotony became almost 
tedious." Want of variety ! This is the fault 
found by another acute and impartial traveller, 
in speaking of the Beautiful River. Of all 
streams in America, there is none whose 
banks are less uniform than those of the Ohio. 
Mountains and valleys succeed each other 
with great rapidity, diversified by rich and 
fertile fields and wild woods. Nature is 
perhaps not so grand and majestic as on the 
shores of the Mississippi, but the scenes are 
more varied and charming to the eye. Num- 
berless islands, scattered in the Ohio, embel- 
lish, in no small degree, a picture already 
abounding in beauty. There was even a 
greater variety of trees than south of Cin- 
cinnati ; those which appeared in the greatest 
profusion were the sycamore, the maple, the 
ash, &c. The banks were generally high : 
signs could, however, be traced of inundations 
occasioned by the swelling of the river. Tn 
the month of February, 1832, the Ohio rose 
not less than fifty feet above low-water mark, 
and it was still not unusual to see here and 
there pieces of wood, planks, even whole 


canoes, perched on the tops of trees. Many 
of the small towns which embellish the banks 
yet exhibited visible traces of this dreadful 
inundation, the greatest within the memory 
of man. The walls of houses bore marks of 
the different heights at which the water had 
stood, and some had even these white marks 
on the chimneys, showing how high the river 
had risen. Houses thrown down, as well as 
sand-hills newly formed, piles of branches and 
trees, devastated fields, and torn-up streets, 
all proved the destructive effects of the flood 
These, together with numberless other objects, 
continually presenting themselves to view, 
and the beautiful and pleasing appearance of 
Nature herself, render a trip on the Ohio far 
from being so uniform and wearisome as the 
author just quoted would make one believe. 

The principal towns near the river, between 
Cincinnati and Wheeling, are Maysville, 
Portsmouth, and Marietta. Among these, 
Portsmouth, in particular, is remarkable for 
a canal, which, uniting the Ohio with Lake 
Erie, here has its outlet. A w ater communi- 
cation has been opened between the city of 
New York and the Ohio, by means of this 
canal ; and with very little additional trouble 
it may be extended to all the large Western 


rivers, and thus form an inland navigation 
nearly eight thousand five hundred miles in 
length. Portsmouth will then increase in 
population and wealth, and I should not be at 
all surprised to hear, ten years hence, that 
this town has become one of the most flourish- 
ing in the Western States. The present 
number of inhabitants does not exceed one 
thousand ; yet they have already a bank and 
a printing office. Perhaps even now they 
publish not only an administration but also 
an opposition paper, having a sufficient 
number of subscribers to support them. Can 
this be said of places in Europe with so small 
a population ? Can it be said of any city in 
the Old World, with ten thousand, twenty 
thousand, even fifty thousand, inhabitants ? 

Towards evening on the following day, T 
arrived at the mouth of the Great Kenhawa 
River, distant about one hundred and ninety- 
four miles from a town of that name. It has 
its source in the Alleghany Mountains The 
waters of this stream contain so great a 
quantity of salt, that one bushel of this article 
may be extracted from one hundred gallons. 
From two hundred thousand to three hundred 
thousand bushels of salt are annually made 
at the salt-works lately established here. But 


this river is also renowned in the page of his- 
tory, and particularly interesting- to those 
who value the Indian character. 

Several murders had, early in the spring of 
1774, been committed on white persons living in 
the Stateof Ohio: for these murders the Cayuga 
tribe of Indians was, probably without reason, 
accused. Logan was then their chief, a man 
well known all over the country for his peace- 
able disposition, and peculiar friendship for 
the Whites. To avenge these imputed atro- 
cities, a number of Whites determined to 
murder any Indian of that tribe whom they 
might happen to meet with ; and a certain 
Colonel Crespal placed himself at the head of 
this sanguinary band. They proceeded down 
the Kenhawa River, and fell in with a canoe 
filled with Indian women and children, who, 
not suspecting any harm, were easily made 
prisoners and unmercifully massacred. These 
were Logan's own wives and children. But this 
act of cruelty was not a solitary one ; he had 
to endure yet another before he could be per- 
suaded to change his opinion of the ^Vhites. 
Shortly afterwards, his brother and sister 
were both murdered. He could now no longer 
suppress his thirst for vengeance. His voice 
summoned his countrymen to arms, and was 


heard with dismay by the cold-blooded mur- 
derers. Both parties prepared for a conflict 
for life or death. Logan placed himself at 
the head of a host of Indians, and against 
these marched a number of regular troops 
from Virginia. An obstinate and bloody 
battle, fought between them at the mouth of 
the Great Kenhawa River, on the 10th of 
October in the same year, frustrated all 
Logan's plans for the future. His army was 
dispersed, and himself became a fugitive. In 
this emergency he concluded a treaty with 
the Whites, making the following remarka- 
ble speech, praised by both Jefferson and 
Clinton : 

'' I appeal to any White man to say, if he 
ever entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he 
gave him not meat : if ever he came cold and 
naked, and he clothed him not. During the 
course of the last, long, and bloody war, 
Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate 
for peace. Such was my love for the Whites, 
that my countrymen pointed as they passed, 
and said, ' Logan is the friend of White men.' 
I had even thought to have lived with you, 
but for the injuries of one man. Colonel 
Crespal, the last spring, in cold blood and 
unprovoked, murdered all the relations of 


Logan, not even sparing* my women and 
children. There runs not a drop of my blood 
in the veins of any living creature. This 
called on me for revenge ; I have sought it ; 
I have killed many ; I have fully glutted my 
vengeance. For my country, I rejoice at the 
beams of peace ; but do not harbour a thought 
that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never 
felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to 
save his life. Who is there to mourn for 
Logan? — Not one." - 

This unfortunate hero, who had, as he 
says himself, none to mourn his loss, fell at 
length a victim to assassination. To their 
dishonour be it said, Logan was murdered 
by the Whites : 

He left of all my tribe 
Nor man, nor child, nor thing of living birth : 
No ! not the dog, that watched my household hearth. 
Escaped, that night of blood, upon our plains ! 
All perished ! I alone am left on earth ! 
To whom no relative nor blood remains. 
No ! not a kindred drop that runs in human veins ! f 

The Great Kenhawa River must not be 
confounded with the Little Kenhawa, about 
seventy miles higher up the Ohio, close to 
which the beautiful and romantic Island of 

• Vide Thatcher's " Indian Biography." 
t Campbell's " Gertrude of W^yoming." 

140 blennerhassett's island. 

Blennerhassett is situated. From Pittsburg 
to Balize there is no island that can be com- 
pared to it : it has been celebrated by poets 
and called Paradise Island; and well it de- 
serves the name. How many princes would 
be glad to exchange the dominion of unruly 
kingdoms for this peaceable retreat in the 
midst of the Ohio ! A rich Irishman of the 
name of Blennerhassett is said to have settled 
on it in former times, and to have built a 
mansion unequalled in America. Large sums 
of money were expended by him in embel- 
lishing the spot, and converting the woods 
into a regular English park. Hospitality 
reigned within the precincts of this happy 
little kingdom. 

The fame of Blennerhassett's Island soon 
reached the Alleghany Mountains. No stran- 
ger thought of visiting the Western States, 
without making a call at the far-famed Island, 
where every one was welcome. It soon ac- 
quired a fame equal to that of the Ohio and 
Mississippi. It was just about this time 
that the celebrated Aaron Burr * entered 
into his well-known conspiracy. Blenner- 
hassett was persuaded to join him with purse 

• Aaron Burr is still alive, (1834) and has reached an advanced 
ago. He is living privately at New York. 

blennerhassett's island. 141 

and person. The scheme was, however, soon 
discovered, the conspirators arrested, and 
tried for treason. From this period, the 
beautiful Island, hitherto the seat of hap- 
piness, with its mansion and park, fell into 
decay, and may now be compared to a solitary 
ruin. Votaries of ambition, behold what 
destiny awaits you ! Many of you possess 
happiness within your own precincts, and 
yet you must go afar in search of it ! Few 
are those who are satisfied with their lot, and 
desire nothing more. How often have we 
not an Island like Blennerhassett's within our 
reach, but still think we have not found the 
right one ! We grope in the dark after an 
object which w^e hold in our hand. A false 
light confuses our sight ; we imagine that we 
are at length in the track of the looked-for 
happiness, and seize it with eagerness — but, 
lo ! in the impetuosity of the moment, we 
open our hand, and allow what we already 
possess to escape. This was exactly the case 
with Blennerhassett ; this is a picture of 
scenes daily passing before our eyes. 

At Wheeling I quitted the steamboat, and 
took leave of the Ohio. The town appeared 
so sooty and unpleasant, that it was with 
very little regret I left it. It contains, how- 


ever, as I was informed, nearly six thousand 
souls, and will probably, in the course of 
time, become a flourishing city. 

The clock had just struck two, when the 
travellers were roused from their slumber, in 
order to prepare for departure. As soon as 
the stage was filled with people, to whom 
I was an utter stranger, and who soon re- 
sumed the sleep from which they had been 
prematurely wakened, we started. The night 
was dark, and the road, although called 
national,* so indifferent that we advanced at 
a slow rate. My fellow-travellers had this 
advantage over me, that they could sleep 
while journeying along this stony road: I 
really envied their happiness. The white 
nightcaps were the only objects visible in the 
dark, and conversation was confined to a few 
discordant sounds with which the sleepers now 
and then annoyed my ears. The approach 
of morning was greeted with delight by the 
only person awake in the coach ; the an- 
nouncement of the arrival of the stage at the 
place for breakfasting at length roused the 
slumbering group. Nightcaps were removed, 

• This road is made at the public expence, and is intended to 
unite the Atlantic and Western States. It commences at Balti- 
more, passes the Ohio at Wheeling, and runs through Ohio, Indiana, 
and Illinois, to St. Louis, in Missouri. 


wigs combed, eyes rubbed, and, thus pre- 
pared, the whole company was immediately 
ready to attack an indifferent breakfast, con- 
sisting of lukewarm coffee-water and broiled 
chickens, a standing dish in Virginia. 

In the course of the first day's journey, we 
passed the small towns of Washington and 
Brownsville, the latter of which has a pic- 
turesque situation on the river Monongahela, 
which afterwards runs into the Alleghany 
River, and jointly with it forms the Ohio. 
Brownsville has several manufactories, and 
seems to be in a prosperous state. 

We had scarcely quitted Wheeling before 
the country assumed a hilly appearance, and 
this sea-like region continued uninterruptedly 
till we had passed a small place called Union- 
town, about seventy miles from Wheeling, 
where the Alleghany Mountains began to 
show themselves. The country here has a 
more imposing appearance. Hills give place 
to mountains, and the valleys have the dusky 
tinge which distinguishes those in beautiful 
Switzerland. Laurel Hill was the highest 
mountain I passed ; the landscape here bore 
some resemblance to the Alps, but cannot be 
compared with the latter. Vegetation, I 
admit, was particularly rich : there were val- 


leys and mountains, extensive and smiling 
prospects, precipices also in abundance ; but 
still it was not Switzerland, The Alleghany 
Mountains, it cannot be denied, are clothed in 
a wild mantle ; but the wildness has not that 
form so peculiar to the valleys of Switzerland. 
Generally, these mountains appeared to me 
of a rounder shape and with a smoother sur- 
face than the Alps : I could discover no where 
pointed, snow-covered summits. In a word, 
the Alleghany Mountains are unquestionably 
extensive, but cannot be placed in competi- 
tion with that chain which possesses a Mont 
Blanc and a Jungfrau. 

We passed the second night at Cumber- 
land, a town in Maryland, and continued our 
journey early the following morning, through 
mountainous districts and valleys, in all re- 
spects like those I had seen the two preceding- 
days. The road, in several instances, followed 
the course of the Potomac, which forms the 
boundary between Virginia and Maryland, 
winding in numberless curves between hills 
and mountains. On one of these hills, at the 
foot of which runs the Potomac, we had a 
little adventure, at once unfortunate and 
ludicrous, which gave rise during the rest of 
the journey to frequent sallies of wit. 

A CRAZY STAGl^. 145 

The stage coach had shortly before broken 
down, and another of a very doubtful character 
been substituted in its place at the first relay 
of horses. Every one found some fault with it, 
even before the animals were harnessed ; but 
the driver assured us that there was not a 
better coach in the United States. In contra- 
diction to this statement, we showed him 
several objectionable parts, and unanimously 
protested against continuing our journey in a 
carriage, the wheels and springs of which 
were in so crazy a condition. The driver, 
however, renewed the assurance that the 
coach was as strong as if it had come from 
the hands of the builder the day before ; add- 
ing, by way o{ finale, that, '' strong or w^eak, 
we must be satisfied with it, as no other was 
to be had within the distance of fifteen miles." 
We started accordingly, and proceeded tole- 
rably well for a distance of about eight miles. 

The travellers already began to dismiss the 
idea of danger, and were going to indulge 
in an afternoon nap, when, in the middle of a 
steep hill, down which the imprudent coach- 
man drove full gallop, both hind springs gave 
way. The shock which the body of the coach 
received from the lower part of the vehicle 
was so violent, that the bottom broke out ; 



and, before the travellers had had time to 
recover from their consternation, their feet 
were dangling* through the opening. To call 
out lustily ''Stop!" was infinitely more easy 
than for the driver to check four galloping- 
horses. Some of the ill-fated passengers, con- 
fined in this shattered coach, had in the 
mean time, by the violent shaking, fallen from 
their seats, so that their feet trailed upon the 
ground. They had now no other alternative 
but to run as fast as the wheels rolled. For- 
tunately, none were hurt, although the road 
was full of stones and holes ; a few bruises, 
similar to those which follow a severe boxing- 
match, were the only result of this catas- 
trophe. The horses were at length stopped 
at the foot of the hill, and the passengers crept 
out one by one, some through the windows, 
others through the hole at the bottom. The 
driver, stupified on beholding the state of the 
vehicle, exclaimed, '' What, in the name of 
God, has become of the bottom ?" 

The journey was continued, partly on foot, 
partly in an open cart, until we came near a 
place called Hagerstown, where a new coach 
was procured. None of us, however, ventured 
to enter it without first examining the bot- 
tom; and, having found it firm, we started 


afresh, and arrived early in the morning at 

The great undertaking of making a rail- 
road, for the purpose of uniting the Athxntic 
and Western States, had in the progress of 
execution reached as far as Point of Rocks, 
seventy miles from Baltimore. At Fredrick, 
which is ten miles nearer to the above city, I 
took an opportunity of travelling this road. 
Six cars, each filled with sixteen persons, and 
drawn by horses, started from this place 
soon after my arrival. The railroad in the 
first part of the journey was sloping, resem- 
bling a skittle-ground made upon an in- 
clined plane ; near Baltimore it was more 
level. When completed, it will run a distance 
of three hundred miles, the greater part of 
which lies across the Alleghany Mountains. 
The highest elevation it has to pass is eight 
hundred and eighty-five feet, at the com- 
mencement of the road near Baltimore. From 
Baltimore to Cumberland, the gradual descent 
will be about fifteen feet ten inches per mile ; 
thence to Ohio only five feet two inches. Tlie 
expence of the road already finished is about 
forty thousand dollars a mile, which heavy 
charge is occasioned by the number of via- 
ducts and bridges which it has been found 

L 2 


absolutely necessary to build*. The expences 
of the remaining* part, I was assured, will be 
less considerable. The whole undertaking- is 
executed by private capitalists, and holds out 
a prospect of becoming, in time, one of the 
most lucrative speculations of its kind. 

By detention at different places, and from 
other causes, this journey took not less than 
eight hours, a very long time for a railroad 
excursion ; the delay, however, is in some 
measure excusable, on account of their having 
only a short time before commenced using 
cars. The distance is now, I presume, per- 
formed in five hours. Without stopping any 
time at Baltimore, T continued my journey to 
Washington, where I arrived in the latter end 
of February, in time to attend some of the 
sittings of Congress. 

• Vide " Flint's History aad Geography of the Mississippi 


A noble hall, for the purposes of legislation or justice, or a grand 
pile of buildings for the use of learning, is the immediate property of 
the people, and forms a portion of the inheritance of the humblest 
citizen. Verplaxck. 

Washington was at this time so full of 
strangers, that it was with the greatest diffi- 
culty that accommodation could be procured; 
and, if by chance one obtained an apartment, 
it was generally either the garret or a kitchen, 
the common abode of Negroes, but now fitted 
up for the reception of strangers. Rooms are 
always scarce for those who visit the city 
during the session of Congress; this time, 
however, the want of accommodation exceeded 
all precedent, in consequence of the number 
of visiters, who arrived from all parts to wit- 
ness the ceremony of the inauguration of the 
President for four additional years, to begin 
on the 4th of March. The inconvenience was, 
nevertheless, not greater than that generally 
attending festivities in a small town. Exor- 


bitant prices for inferior accommodation, 
without even the satisfaction of signifying 
displeasure at the want of comfort, were the 
order of the day. But this was not all : dis- 
putes arose as to the preference of paying an 
unreasonable price, with permission to grum- 
ble, when the ceremony was over, at the im- 
position practised by the honourable citizens. 
Such scenes occur frequently in Europe : such 
also was the case in the American metropolis. 
When Washington was first planned, the 
founders were buoyed up with the hope that 
it would, in the course of time, become a 
capital worthy of so great a Republic, and 
increase in the same proportion as other 
cities in the country. This was also, if I 
mistake not, a favourite idea with General 
Washington himself. The plan was formed 
upon a gigantic scale : a few houses were 
scarcely built at a great distance from each 
other, before people already began to talk 
with enthusiasm of the infant prodigy among 
cities, which, within a century, would surpass 
and eclipse all the pretensions of Paris and 
London. But, the city making slow progress, 
these expectations were not realized. Where 
no trade or manufactories exist, considerable 
increase cannot be expected. Washington 

THE president's HOUSE. 151 

has no impulse of this kind, and in all proba- 
bility never will have any. The houses are 
scattered, as if they had been sifted by an 
economical farmer ; and, to visit a neighbour, 
it is sometimes necessary to cross uncultivated 
fields or dusty sand-hills. The streets are like 
the deserts of Arabia, blinding the pedestrian 
with quicksand, a real nuisance. Pennsyl- 
vania Avenue, the principal thoroughfare, 
leads in a straight line from the President's 
house to the Capitol, a distance of one mile. 

The Presidential Palace, or the White 
House, as it is called, is a plastered brick 
building, with rows of pillars on both fronts, 
without much pretension to classical or ar- 
chitectural beauty. It stands on an elevated 
ground, surrounded by four other buildings, 
exclusively adapted for public offices*. In 
one of these is a collection of portraits of 
Indian chiefs who have concluded treaties 
with the government, or visited Washington 
for some purpose or other. This collection 
is interesting, without having any great value, 
considered as mere paintings. Here is also 
deposited the important document which de- 

* One of these buildings, occupied by the Treasury Department, 
was destroyed by fire in the course of this year, and was not rebuilt 
in the summer of 1834. 


clared the independence of America : it is to 
be regretted that this interesting paper, by 
being' constantly copied, has been so defaced 
and worn out, that it is not without difficulty 
that it can be read. The signatures, in par- 
ticular, are very indistinct, and some of them 
have disappeared altogether. Why not pre- 
serve it in a glass frame, like the Magna 
Charta of Great Britain ? It is a jewel which 
belongs to the people, and is equally precious 
to every citizen. 

The Capitol, also situated on an eminence, 
is surrounded by an iron railing. Between 
this inclosure and the edifice, footpaths have 
been laid out, winding under trees. A beau- 
tiful flight of steps leads to the Capitol from 
Pennsylvania Avenue ; on one of the platforms 
of which may be seen a naval column of white 
marble, erected on a pedestal of the same ma- 
terial. It is intended as a monument to those 
naval officers who fell in the war with Tri- 
poli. The first intention was to surround this 
column by water; but the plan was aban- 
doned, for some reason with which I am not 
acquainted, and the monument now stands 
on a rock, as dry as possible. 

The Capitol is built of brick, and painted 
white. A dome has been raised in the centre. 


on both sides of which the national flag is 
flying' while Congress is sitting. The archi- 
tecture of this building partakes too much of 
the old French school to please the present 
taste. The architect appears to have taken 
Versailles for his model, and to have made a 
copy of it, preserving all the defects of the 
old style without adding the improvements in 
taste of later times. Ornaments are seen, as 
if sprinkled, without calculation, over the 
walls, and pillars are crowded together. Tlie 
whole appeared to rae a kind of patchwork, 
and produced the same eflfect as a literary 
effusion, the author of which, to hide the po- 
verty of ideas and their want of originality, is 
obliged to have recourse to lofty and bom- 
bastic language. Some of the late architects, 
who were employed upon the building, parti- 
cularly Latrobe, endeavoured to remedy this 
littleness in the details ; but it was found im- 
practicable to remove all the original defects. 
There are, however, some parts in the inte- 
rior as well as the exterior of this edifice, 
which are models of a pure and noble archi- 
tecture, and among these, the Hall of Re- 
presentatives occupies indisputably the first 
place. One of America's sons and ablest 
architects calls this building *' a magnificent 


architectural monster."* This laconic criti- 
cism is perhaps rather severe, but it is not 
destitute of truth. 

Beneath the dome is a rotunda with four 
doors, in form resembling' the Pantheon at 
Rome. It is intended to decorate the walls 
of the hall with paintings illustrative of events 
in American History, the place being in every 
respect well adapted for that purpose, the 
light coming from above and throwing a most 
advantageous shade on the pictures. The 
short existence of the Republic has as yet 
only permitted a small portion of the walls to 
be thus ornamented : futurity also claims a 
place for the record of memorable deeds. 
Four paintings only are at present seen in 
this spacious hall, all executed by Mr. Trum- 
bull, an American artist of note, who traced 
from memory many of the scenes which he 
has delineated on canvass. These paintings 
represent : 1st, The Declaration of Independ- 
ence : 2d, Washington's Resignation : 3d, 
General Burgoyne's Surrender at Saratoga : 
4th, The Battle of Yorktown. Between these, 
a few basso-relievos have been put up, one of 
which represents William Penn concluding a 
treaty with the Indians, another the landing 

* See G. C. A>rj)lanck's Speech on the Fine Arts iu AnuMita. 


of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, a third, Captain 
Boone's '^ combat with two Indians at once, 
and the fourth, Captain Smith's f escape from 
death by the interference of Pocahontas. 
Viewed with the eye of an artist, these basso- 
relievos are of little value, and not deserving 
the place which they occupy. 

The Hall of the Representatives is perhaps 
the best adapted room for its purpose that 
can be seen. The dimensions are magnificent, 
and in splendour it is not excelled by any 
thing of its kind. The form is a semicircle, 
resting on an even base. Round the walls of 
the semicircle are tasteful pillars, made of a 
kind of composition, and painted with a grey 
mottled colour, which produces effect and is 
pleasing to the eye. Columns of a similar 
kind also adorn another part of the room, in 
front of which is the Speaker's! chair, a few 
steps above the level of the floor. Below it, 
sit the secretaries, employed in reading dif- 
ferent papers, &ic. ; and, higher up, between 
the pillars, are galleries for the accommoda- 

* Captain Boone was the first settler in Kentucky. 

t See Thatcher's '' Indian Lives/' vokimeii. 

+ In the following Session, 1833-34, an alteration was made by 
removing the chair of the Speaker from the straij^ht side of the room 
to the centre of the semicircle. The reason assigned was that the 
members were better heard when the sound was directed to the cir- 
cular part of the room ; this may possibly be the case, but at all 
events the room has not gained any thing in point of appearance. 


tion of the public, as well as for reporters for 
the press. The members are provided with 
arm-chairs and writing-tables. The greater 
number keep their heads covered, some with 
caps,, which they only removed when speak- 
ing, but the majority were rather reclining 
than sitting on their seats. Very few ap- 
peared to take any interest in the debate, but 
employed themselves continually in writing- 
letters, reading newspapers, or conversing 
with their neighbours. The opposition mem- 
bers have no particular place assigned to 
them, both parties intermixing indiscrimi- 
nately. The number of members, this session, 
was about two hundred and forty, of whom 
forty were from the State of New York, twenty 
eight from Pennsylvania, and twenty-one 
from Virginia, being the three largest States 
in the Union. One member out of a popula- 
tion of forty-seven thousand seven hundred in 
every State is sent to Congress, so that New 
York, possessing, according to the census of 
1830, a population of one million nine hundred 
and eighteen thousand six hundred and eight 
souls, has a right to send forty representa- 
tives. Florida again, counting at this time 
only thirty-four thousand seven hundred and 
thirty settled inhabitants within her territory, 


could send but one delegate to Congress, who 
has a seat in the Lower House, but no right to 
vote. Until a State has reached the amount 
of population prescribed by law, it is not con- 
sidered as incorporated with the Union; it 
only goes by the name of territory. Of the 
latter class there are only three : Florida, 
Arkansas, and Michigan, sending delegates 
to Washington. The annual increase of these 
territories is, however, so rapid, that there is 
every reason to suppose they will, within a 
very short time, be raised to the dignity of 
free and independent States. 

The Senate is the American House of 
Lords, and consists of forty-eight senators, 
or two from each State. Their hall is much 
smaller, and in many respects inferior to the 
other, though fitted up nearly upon the same 
plan. It looks more clean and polished than 
the House of Representatives, and inspires that 
kind of respect which every similar assembly 
ought to produce. This impression is far from 
being diminished on seeing the respective Se- 
nators take their places. Each of them has an 
arm-chair and a writing-table. All are unco- 
vered, and support the dignity of statesmen. 

When I entered this assembly for the first 
time, the subject under discussion was that 


which for months past had exclusively ab- 
sorbed pubUc attention all over the country, 
namely, the Nullification in South Carolina, 
and the best mode of adjusting matters be- 
tween all parties. The President had already, 
by his well-known proclamation of the 10th 
of December, 1832, in a great measure quelled 
the spirit of rebellion in the South ; but, in 
Congress, the conflict between the advocates 
of free trade and those of higher duties for 
the protection of home manufactures still 
continued. Both parties persevered in mak- 
ing long speeches in support of their respec- 
tive positions, which had no other result than 
sacrificing several months without coming to 
any decision. This waste of time on the 
part of Congress has been much censured ;* 
but it is an evil that cannot be remedied, 
being in the nature of a republican form of 
government. The Representatives of the 
people do not make speeches solely with the 
view of enlightening their colleagues and 
convincing them of the justness of their ideas 
and opinions on the subject under discussion 
— this is too often a secondary consideration, 

•111 the course of the following Session, no less thmi seven 
months were spent, and yet nothing was decided lesjiecting the 
Deposit Question, or the United States' Bank. Debates took'^place 
daily. ' 


an unnecessary trouble, according to their own 
confession: a member very seldom changes 
his views from hearing another of a different 
opinion from himself. No, it is for the peo- 
ple, for his own constituents, that he delivers 
orations in the Capitol ;* well knowing that, 
through the widely-circulating journals, the 
speeches will reach the homes of those who have 
sent him to Congress, and whose good opinion 
he thus hopes to preserve, so that at the next 
election he may secure their suffrages, and 
remain at the post of honour. This manu- 
facturing of speeches entails a great loss of 
time in the passing of a Bill. All the mem- 
bers of both Houses wished first to have 
time to express, in long and well digested 
speeches, their opinion respecting Nullifica- 
tion, and the modification of the old Tariff, 
as proposed by Mr. Clay, before they would 
come to any decision. But, as Congress, ac- 
cording to the letter of the Constitution, was 
obliged to adjourn before the 4th of March, 
the period fixed for the inauguration of the 
President, no time was left to deliver the dif- 

•That this is really the case, can be proved by an incontroverti- 
ble fact. One of the members in Congjress having been prevented 
from delivering a long speech which he had prepared, simply said 
that it was a matter of perfect indifference to him, provided he conld 
get it printed and sent home to the State from which he came. 
This request was complied with. 


ferent speeches at full length ; the consequence 
was, that Mr. Clay's proposition was consi- 
dered as the only means of preserving the 
integrity of the Union. The Bill was there- 
fore passed, the day before the adjournment 
of Congress, which took place in the night 
between the 2nd and 3rd of March. 

That the adoption of the new duty was, in 
fact, rather a compromise than a law intended 
to remain long in force, is fully admitted by 
both the southern and northern parties; it 
fulfilled the wishes neither of the advocates 
nor opponents. For my part, I have no doubt 
that ten years will not elapse before it is 
nearly remodelled by the introduction of many 
alterations. The final liquidation of the na- 
tional debt, which is to take place in the course 
of 1836, will, in all probability, have some effect 
in remodelling the Tariff; for how are the 
large sums to be employed that will arise from 
the Customs ? " For internal improvements," 
will be the answer from every quarter. That 
the United States offer a vast field for im- 
provements of different kinds, I freely admit; 
but, how and where are they to be under- 
taken ? Will not one State have as much 
right in sharing the ameliorations as another? 
It is likely that States situate nearest to the 


Ocean, whose commerce, properly speaking, 
contributes in a great measure to fill the Trea- 
sury, from which the funds must proceed, will 
permit their being exclusively instrumental in 
benefiting other States — States which lie in the 
heart of the Continent, and which hardly know 
what Customs mean ? Suppose, even, that these 
commercial States do not require any portion 
of the public means for improvements, it 
would, nevertheless, be an act of crying injus- 
tice to tax one State for the benefit of the 
other. To solve this problem will sooner or 
later be a source of inquietude to some of 
America's enlightened statesmen. The evil 
was certainly not anticipated, when the 
United States were held up as the happiest 
country on earth, on account of the extinc- 
tion of their national debt in 1836. 

Before I take leave of this subject, which 
will no doubt in due time come under 
discussion, I will just add a few words rela- 
tive to the present amount of the national 
debt. This debt, which commenced at the 
period of the war of Independence, and at 
one time, 1816, amounted to one hundred 
and twenty-three million sixteen thousand 
three hundred and seventy-five dollars, nine 
cents, has, by yearly payments, been so re- 



daced, that it could at any time be liquidated 
by the Treasury, if the stockholders desired 
it. According' to the report of the Secretary of 
the Treasury, of December, 1833, the revenue 
from the Customs in the course of 1832 was 
not less than twenty-eight million four hun- 
dred and sixty-five thousand two hundred and 
thirty-seven dollars, twenty-four cents, and the 
payments in reduction of the national debt 
during the same period, seventeen million eight 
hundred and forty thousand three hundred 
and nine dollars, twenty-nine cents. On the 
1st of January, 1834, the debt of the United 
States amounted to no more than four million 
seven hundred and sixty thousand and eighty- 
two dollars, eight cents, of which thirty-seven 
thousand eight hundred and twenty-one dol- 
lars, seventy-nine cen ts, are payable on demand, 
and the remainder, four million seven hundred 
and twenty-two thousand two hundred and 
sixty dollars, twenty-nine cents, after the 1st 
of January, 1835. 

In America, the greatest orators and 
Statesmen are generally elected members of 
Congress. This post of honour, so much 
courted by every American citizen, is, there- 
fore, seldom filled by men destitute of talents: 
they must show their ability in some way or 


other to attract the notice of the people. This 
explains a singular circumstance, that, in a 
commercial country, like the United States, 
where the wealthy merchant is the only aris- 
tocrat, he is very rarely elected member of 
Congress. On the other hand, we find law- 
yers occupying- the chief places in the legis- 
lative body, and standing foremost on the list 
of statesmen. In illustration of my assertion, 
I need only examine the returns of Senators 
for the twenty-third Congress. I there find, 
out of forty-eight members, no fewer than 
thirty-nine lawyers : the remainder are three 
doctors, one Indian agent, one proprietor of 
a newspaper, one ex-governor of a State, one 
farmer, one mechanic, and one solitary mer- 
chant. In the Lower House also, the propor- 
tion of lawyers is much larger than that of 
any other class of citizens. 

The Representatives of the Lower House 
are elected by the people ; the Senate by the 
Legislature of each State. A senator is 
seldom elected until he has been a member of 
the Lower House for some time ; and none 
can, constitutionally, fill the senatorial chair, 
till he has reached the age of thirty ; but at 
twenty-five a person is competent to become 
member of the other House. The Senate is 

M 2 

164 CLAY. 

composed of men, distinguished as orators 
and politicians, the pride, in fact, of America. 
Talents more consummate than in this Senate 
have seldom been united in one point, either 
in ancient or modern times. Many of the 
senators are well known in Europe, such as 
Clay, Webster, Calhoun, and others, who are 
distinguished models among modern orators 
and statesmen. 

Clay is the most popular speaker in Ame- 
rica. His language is flowing, nervous, elo- 
quent, and seducing. He is severe towards 
his adversary, but delivers his pointed obser- 
vations in a tone generally playful. Without 
possessing a powerful organ, his voice, never- 
theless, fills every corner of the Senate Cham- 
ber, particularly on entering into the heart of 
the subject, after going through the less 
important preliminaries. Fertility in meta- 
phors is one of his principal ornaments : like 
the writer of Frithiof, (Tegner) he is happy in 
the selection of them, and never fails to fix 
the undivided attention of his auditory. He 
is one of those peculiarly gifted individuals, 
whose eloquence ever enables him to main- 
tain his ground victoriously, after having* 
overcome the opinions of his hearers. 

Mr. Webster, again, is a profound and 


eloquent statesman, who never meddles with 
a subject without having given it his utmost 
attention. His speeches abound in deep 
thought and sound reasoning, and carry away 
the auditory by plausibility of purpose and 
clearness and perspicuity of judgment. It 
is impossible to listen to this great orator 
without admiring him. The penetrating and 
sharp look, so peculiar to him, is in perfect 
harmony with the character of his language. 
Woe to the imprudent opponent, who would 
attempt to involve any thing in obscurity on 
the straight road traced out by Webster ! 
A glance from him is sufficient to dispel all 
darkness, and, if I may so say, to crush his 

Calhoun is the third of this mighty trium- 
virate. He had, this session, been at the head 
of the Nullification party in Congress, and 
was, in every sense, a dangerous opponent to 
the present Government. Altogether unlike 
the two senators just mentioned, in the method 
of expressing himself, he is more distinguished 
by a facility of comprehension, and a clear 
development of every subject, than by florid 
language and choice expressions. In his 
speeches he never appears to care about the 
introductory part : he enters upon the merits 


oi" the question at once, as if time did not 
permit him to lead his auditory up the usual 
steps to obtain a clear insight into the darkest 
parts of the subject. 

Besides these three men, who seem to re- 
present the whole Union — Webster for the 
Northern and Eastern States, Clay for the 
Western, and Calhoun for the Southern — there 
are also a great number of statesmen, some 
for, others against, the Administration, who 
would shine in any country, both on account 
of their rhetorical powers, and great perspi- 
cuity and soundness of judgment. Of these, 
my limits permit me to mention only the fol- 
lowing : in the Senate, Poindexter, Preston, 
Clayton, and Forsyth : in the House of Re- 
presentatives, John Quincy Adams, Everett, 
Tristam, Burges, Binney, and M^Duffie. 

A few days before the adjournment of Con- 
gress, President Jackson held a drawing- 
room, or rather gave an evening party, to 
which no particular invitations were issued, 
but where every one that pleased had a right 
to attend. These soirees had often been re- 
presented to me as extremely disagreeable, 
on account of the mixed company usually 
assembled ; and Mrs. Trollope in her book, 
" 'J'he Refugee in America," has placed them 

THE president's DRAWING-ROOM. 167 

in so ludicrous a light, that one might almost 
have been led to the belief that the levees 
given by the First Magistrate in America 
were exclusively composed of coachmen and 
servants. Even in Washington, I often heard, 
among the higher classes, complaints made 
respecting the mixture of company at the 
President's house. In spite of this, none ap- 
peared disposed to forego the honour of 
paying their respects to the old General, 
whenever he held a "drawing-room." Neither 
did 1 wish to lose the opportunity of attend- 
ing in person, anxious to judge of the scene 
for myself. On arriving at the palace, I was 
ushered into a large saloon filled with people 
of both sexes, some well dressed, others again 
in morning costume. Some of the ladies 
showed in dress, as well as in manners, that 
they did not belong to that high class of 
society which ought exclusively to form the 
circle of a President : there were, however, a 
great many whose refinement of manner an- 
nounced a better ton, and this rendered the 
contrast the greater between the two clearly 
defined classes. 

In the middle of the saloon stood General 
Jackson, surrounded by Van Buren, the Vice- 
President, Washington Irving, and some of 

168 THE president's drawing-room. 

the Secretaries of State. The President is an 
elderly man, of middle size, with an expres- 
sive countenance, and a sharp eye, indicative 
of that firmness of character which he has 
evinced upon so many occasions, and parti- 
cularly during' the period of his military 
career, the laurels of which, it may be said, 
he chiefly gathered at New Orleans. His hair 
is perfectly white, combed upward from his 
forehead, which gives his face a long and 
narrow appearance. His manners are ex- 
tremely condescending and polite, without 
derogating from the rank which he holds as 
the first man in America. Republican custom 
obliges him to shake hands with his visiters : 
General Jackson performs this part of the 
ceremony without losing any of his dignity, 
without appearing cold or distant. I observed 
his actions for a long while, to see if he made 
any particular distinctions between those that 
presented themselves ; but, to his honour, as 
President of a Republic, be it said, he con- 
tinued the same the whole evening- — polite 
and affable to every one, and friendly to those 
whom he knew personally, particularly the 
fair sex. 

General Jackson became President, for the 
first time, in J 829. He had, at the election in 


1825, already placed himself on the list of 
candidates for the Presidential Chair, but 
had not a sufficient number of votes to insure 
hisreturn:thehonour of office then devolved on 
his more fortunate rival, John Quincy Adams. 
At the election in 1829, Jackson had a ma- 
jority of one hundred and seventy-eight votes 
— at that of 1833, again, two hundred and 
nineteen, showing an accession of votes of 
forty-one, or, which is the same, a more ex- 
tended popularity. How far this popularity 
has increased or lost ground, since the last 
election, owing to the adoption of certain 
measures against the Bank of the United 
States, by which a derangement in the 
finances has been occasioned, will be better 
ascertained at the election of 1837, as few 
people entertain a doubt that the present 
occupant will try to secure the Presidential 
^hair for the third time. 

On the 4th of March, 1833, General Jackson 
entered upon the duties of his office for the 
second time. The ceremony of inauguration, 
or what in Europe would be called the corona- 
tion, is one of the simplest acts that the 
genius of man could invent. Early in the 
morning a considerable number of people 
assembled in the House of Representatives, 


anxious, like myself, to witness this cere- 
mony. The arrival of the President was an- 
nounced in no particular way. Accompanied 
by Van Buren, the Vice-President, and his 
private Secretary, the venerable gentleman 
entered the room, almost unperceived by any 
present. Both the high functionaries were 
attired in black, without any decorations 
whatever, such signs of distinction being- 
contrary to the Constitution. After them 
followed several foreign ministers in gold- 
laced costume. One in particular wore a 
uniform, the whole back of which consisted of 
a solid mass of gold lace, glittering in the 
sun, and forming a singular contrast with 
the numberless black coats present. A 
person, unacquainted with Y\ ashington and 
its customs, who had the appearance of an in- 
habitant of some of the remotest parts of the 
West, happened to stand near me in the 
crowd during the ceremony. He had never 
seen the President, and now tried to discover 
which was the Chief Magistrate. When the 
gold-covered foreign minister, just alluded 
to, made his appearance in the hall, attended 
by several gentlemen equally well dressed, he 
took it for gran ted that he must be the renowned 
hero of New Orleans ; but, to make sure of the 


fact, he turned to me and asked the following- 
question : *' Which of these men is the Presi- 
dent?" I pointed out the old grey-headed 
man to him. '* By God ! man," answered he, 
furious as a tiger, " you do not know what you 
say. The brav est of men, America's hero and 
favourite, in a suit of black ! You are mistaken, 
stranger, and want information yourself." 

The ceremony, however, commenced by a 
speech from General Jackson, which he read 
himself, and in which he endeavoured suc- 
cinctly to state the situation of the country, 
its relations with Foreign Powers, &c. At 
the conclusion of it. Chief Justice Marshall 
advanced to the tribune, and received the 
oath, which the President repeated aloud : 

" I swear to preserve, protect, and defend, 
the Constitution of the United States." 

The Vice-President also took his oath, 
nearly similar to the preceding. This con- 
cluded the installation, and Andrew Jackson 
was now lawful President, for the four suc- 
ceeding years, of the greatest Republic on 


Excuse a foreign slip-slop now and then, 

Jf but to show I've travelled; and what 's travel, 

Unless it teaches one to quote and cavil / 


All European travellers, who have in later 
times gratified the public with descriptions of 
the United States, have generally devoted a 
considerable portion of time and space in their 
books to the consideration of the American 
Constitution. To judge by their manner of 
discussing the subject, one would be led to 
believe that they considered it a duty to give 
their opinions as to the effects which it is 
likely to produce in another half century. 
Thus they have not only discovered faults in 
this constitution, but even foretold the results 
that must ensue from the form of government 
before it has existed one hundred years. 1 
am not a candidate for the honour of predict- 
ing the destiny of North America, still less 
do I believe it in human power to anticipate 


the future effect of so liberal a Constitution 
as the American, tested only by a few half 
scores of years ; but I venture to affirm that, 
without being- perfect, it is of all constitutions, 
ancient and modern, the one which has ap- 
proached nearest to the object in view. At- 
tempts have also been made to paint, in the 
strongest colours, imaginary dangers threat- 
ening its existence. 

In the United States, there are many peo- 
ple of the same opinion as European travel- 
lers, who believe that the least disturbance 
and misunderstanding within the States may 
lead to a dissolution of the Republic. This 
apprehension appears to me rather unfounded, 
and not unlike that of a person who is afraid 
of ghosts, and trembles at the sight of a 

In the year 1832, the whole Union seemed 
shaken to its very foundation by the voice of 
Nullification from South Carolina ; and many 
had already made up their minds that, within 
a twelvemonth, the Republic would no longer 
be able to claim the motto, now its pride and 
strength. Ex plurihus unum. It is well known 
how easily this misunderstanding in the South 
was quieted, and how few weeks were re- 
quired to tranquillize the whole Union. A 


year had scarcely elapsed after this occur- 
rence, when North America again seemed to 
rest on a volcano. The measures adopted by 
the President against the Bank of the United 
States, and his famous experiment with the 
currency, gave rise to new apprehensions as 
to the stability of the Union. The whole 
country resounded with cries of despotism, 
tyranny, monarchy ; and the newspapers, 
from Maine to Louisiana, alluded only to 
'' King Andrew T.," and recommended the 
nation to defend the Constitution, in imminent 
danger of being overthrown by a usurper. 
This was a new species of danger for the un- 
fortunate Constitution ; and, at a distance, the 
United States already bore the appearance of 
a monarchy. That even this was an untimely 
apprehension will soon be seen. 

Elections, which follow each other in such 
rapid succession, prevent the Federal Govern- 
ment from making any encroachments, and 
are like a bulwark for the durability of the 
Constitution. Changes in it may possibly be 
necessary ; for every age requires such, if 
people are not too obstinate, and reject the 
improvements suggested by experience. But 
the Constitution is not, therefore, to be thrown 
aside, as not adapted to its purpose, and Re- 


publican principles condemned as unsuited to 
the present times. Party-spirit cannot exist 
without a certain degree of excitement ; and it 
is this which appears so frightful to those who 
have had no time or opportunity to follow the 
effect of the American Constitution on the 
community, from its origin down to the pre- 
sent day. In a word, North America is happy 
and free under the form of government which 
it now possesses, and may with calmness look 
forward to the future. But what is fittinp- for 
one hemisphere and one people is not always 
suitable for other nations ; be it therefore far 
from me to preach up a republican doctrine 
in monarchical Europe ! We may envy Ame- 
rica its benevolent institutions, its liberal 
principles, its youth, and its strength; but 
may we never be induced to wish for any 
thing else ! 

It was a common topic in the United States 
to complain of the misrepresentations of Eu- 
ropean travellers. Captain Hall and Mrs. 
Trollope were those in particular who at- 
tracted general animadversion. The former, 
1 was often told, is the more to blame, as he 
possessed talents equal to the production of 
a good and impartial book on the country, 
and was, besides, introduced into the higher 


circles, where he received every attention and 
respect. The latter, again, had so few ac- 
quaintances, and was so little known among 
the higher classes, that it cannot appear sin- 
gular if she judged the whole nation by indi- 
viduals in the Western States, where she 
resided, and with whom she came in contact. 
Such was the judgment passed in America 
on these travellers. 

The characteristic of an American is hos- 
pitality to strangers, and just pride at the 
advantages possessed by his own country. 
His house is never shut to visiters ; he only 
expects, and with reason, that these shall 
not, on returning to their own country, ridi- 
cule the domestic relations they have had an 
opportunity of witnessing under the shield of 
hospitality. Have not Italy, France, England, 
and Sweden, many things which, to a fo- 
reigner, appear strange, if not ridiculous ? 

A degree of suspicion and reserve to- 
w^ards strangers has, from this cause, insensi- 
bly crept in among a certain class of Ameri- 
cans. It cannot, however, be denied that in 
the United States there are many customs 
and things of a repulsive character, rejected 
by refined Americans themselves. Foreign 
critics, particularly Mrs. Trollope, have at 



least done this good, that they have called 
the attention of enlightened persons to these 
objectionable habits. Chesterfield himself 
could not have prodviced greater effect on the 
manners of the multitude ; and in this respect 
Mrs. Trollope is certainly entitled to the gra- 
titude of the nation. To show the useful 
effect already produced by her work, I may 
just mention that, whenever an individual in 
a playhouse happens, when seated in the 
boxes, to turn his back towards the pit, or, 
occupying a front seat, to put his feet on the 
benches, (a want of decorum severely cen- 
sured by INIrs. Trollope) a general outcry of 
'* Trollope, Trollope!" is heard from every 
part of the house, and the meaning of it is 
known to all. Her work is full of striking 
and true features ; but they are pictures, 
representing scenes in the less civilized parts 
of the United States, not, as might be inferred 
from the title of the book,'* a description of 
the manners of the whole American nation. 
Would it not have been more in harmony 
with the contents of the book, if she had 
called her work '' Customs and Manners of 
the Western States ?" 

In common with other travellers in Ame- 

♦ " Domestic Manners of the Americans" is the title of the book. 


rica, INIrs. Trollope has committed the error 
of taking- what she saw at one point of the 
Union as a standard for judging' of all the 
others. Whoever casts a look on the map 
of the United States will easily discover the 
unreasonableness of such a judgment. Lou- 
isiana and the New England States are as 
unlike as two different kingdoms in Europe ; 
and the manner of living on board steamboats 
in the Mississippi is not to be compared 
with that on board those on the Hudson. 
In England the case is totally different — an 
Englishman is the same every where. A 
Tory is the same Tory in Lancashire as in 
Kent ; but an American is very different in 
the South and North, in the West and East, 
even if he belongs to the same party. A 
Whig in Boston has not the same ideas as a 
Whig in New York, and still less as a Whig 
in New Orleans. Climate, habits, and inter- 
ests, chiefly cause this difference ; but, W' hen 
this is the case, how unjust it is to pass an 
opinion on a whole nation from observations 
made at a single point, or from circumstan- 
ces that have fallen under the notice of a 
traveller during a residence of a few months ! 
To obtain a proper knowledge of the United 
States, it is necessary to remain some time in 


the country ; to visit various parts of the 
Union ; to make acquaintance with all classes 
of men ; to compare their ideas with results 
daily occurring, and to lay aside all partiality. 
Of late travellers, Stuart is the only one who 
has seen the necessity of pursuing this line 
of conduct, in order to form a correct judg- 
ment of the country ; and his " Three Years 
in America" is a work abounding in interest- 
ing facts, and composed after a long resi- 
dence, which enabled him to consider every 
object coolly and impartially. Of other de- 
scriptions of North America, it can only be 
said, that Hall's book was a political confes- 
sion, Mrs. Trollope's a mercantile specula- 
tion, Hamilton's a criticism on a republican 
form of government, and Fidler's an effusion 
of disappointed hopes. 

My limits do not permit me to enter into 
such circumstantial details of social life in 
America as the subject deserves. Washing- 
ton, however, is considered the centre of the 
best society in the country ; manners are 
there more European than in any other part 
of the Union. The towns where the ton ap- 
proaches nearest to that of the capital are 
Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, New York, 
Charleston, and New Orleans. Generally 

N 2 


a certain reserve prevails in society ; and, if 
I mistake not, as little recreation is found 
there as in European societies. Invitations 
to dinner are less frequent than to evening- 
parties, and on neither occasion is any parti- 
cular luxury apparent. At dinner, the tables 
are provided with a superabundance of differ- 
ent dishes, though not much varied, owing to 
the difficulty of procuring culinary artists. 
Nor are balls and suppers more conspicuous 
for luxury, the collation being generally cold, 
with ice-cream and champagne. 

The manners of the Americans bear some 
resemblance to those of the English : the 
women are upon the whole more easy than 
the men. While speaking to the latter, they 
appear absent and as if paying very little at- 
tention to what is said; but this is far from 
being the case — they listen to every word. 
There is a certain slowness in their conversa- 
tion, the consequence of an acquired habit. 
Their salutation in a room is, like that of the 
English, by shaking hands : at parting, they 
retire without following either the English 
or the French custom. The women, on the 
other hand, are pleasing, friendly, and polite. 
They are gifted with much natural grace, and 
combine with it a liveliness and ease in words 


and actions, which relieve, in a great measure, 
the reserve and stiffness of a first acquaint- 
ance. A strang'er, therefore, becomes sooner 
acquainted with them than with the men. 

Dancing' is a favourite amusement in all 
American societies, where quadrilles are al- 
most the only dances permitted. Waltzing 
has lately been introduced, but the deep- 
rooted prejudice of elderly ladies still operates 
against this kind of dance. The objection is 
strongest in the Eastern and Northern States; 
in the Southern, again, it scarcely exists. 

A European is often surprised at the free- 
dom of manner which prevails in society, and 
is not unfrequently deceived as to the real 
meaning of the innocent intercourse carried 
on among young people. It is not uncom- 
mon, for instance, to see a young unmarried 
lady constantly with the same gentleman, 
without attracting either attention or illiberal 
insinuations from the world. From their ten- 
derest infancy, the utmost confidence is placed 
in their capability of governing themselves, 
and of mixing in general company, without 
the assistance of an Argus in the shape of a 
guardian or a Duenna. Few married people 
are met with in society, where for the most 
part all are young and left to themselves. A 


young* lady may even travel with a young- 
man, without exposing herself to the sneer of 
scandal. In a word, the intercourse between 
the sexes rests entirely on mutual confidence, 
and is consequently free and unrestrained. 
This confidence is so seldom abused, that it 
requires the age of man to remember an in- 
stance of its infraction. What is applicable 
to daily intercourse may also be applied to 
social life in general. Parents are not afraid 
to leave their daughters alone at a party, and 
these would consider it a want of confidence 
if they were not permitted to appear without 
the attendance of an elderly lady. This, com- 
bined with a natural inclination for domestic 
life, prevalent among- American ladies, has 
however, had the effect of excluding from so- 
ciety almost all married people — such at least 
is the case in Boston, Philadelphia, and Bal- 
timore. Far be it from me to object to this 
custom ; still one cannot help wishing at 
times that, with a view to give a better tone 
to society, the married would not lead so 
retired a life. 

On the adjournment of Congress, I again 
left Washington, and returned to New York 
by way of Baltimore and Philadelphia. A 
railroad Jiad meanwhile been made between 


Amboy and Bordentown, on the road from 
Philadelphia to New York. The whole distance 
between the two latter cities is calculated at 
about one hundred miles, thirty-five of which 
are travelled by the railroad, and the re- 
mainder by steamboats. Many years ago, 
the number of travellers daily passing be- 
tween Philadelphia and New York was com- 
puted at about twenty ; now they are not 
fewer than two hundred. At that period, 
the settled price for the trip was fourteen 
dollars ; now it is only three. What formerly 
required two days to travel is now performed 
in eight hours : it will soon be done in six. 
Horses were at first used on the railroad, but, 
in the course of this year, steam-carriages 
were adopted, which, at the time of my de- 
parture, went at the rate of fifteen miles an 

I had scarcely arrived in New York, before 
the ringing of the bells and the swiftness of 
passing engines announced the breaking out 
of a fire in some part of the city. The occur- 
rence is here of so common a nature, that the 
citizens themselves express surprise if twenty- 
four hours pass without a conflagration of 
some extent taking place. Whoever visits 
New York for the first time is struck with 


the frequency of these fires, breaking out, 
night and day, in all quarters of the city. 
The noise of the engines and firemen is truly 
sad and annoying, when heard in the night. 
A false alarm is often given, but the uproar 
in the streets is not less on that account. A 
greater activity and attention to duty than 
are displayed by those who have the manage * 
ment of the engines I certainly have nowhere 
seen. The first cry of Fire ! is hardly heard, 
before all these undaunted men hasten to 
their post ; and, let the night be ever so dark 
or boisterous, they never fail to run to the as- 
sistance of the sufferers. I had frequent 
opportunities of witnessing the intrepidity of 
these men : no roof was too high, no wall too 
steep, for them. They stood in the midst of 
the fire, with leather hose in their hands, 
never quitting their post till the roofs or walls 
were ready to fall in. 

The firemen in America are divided into 
companies, the members of which engage to 
be always in readiness for service, whenever 
a fire happens. In return, they are exempt 
from militia duty, and possess other small 
advantages, indemnifying them in some mea- 
sure for the sacrifices which they are daily 
obliged to make. The greatest unanimity 


prevails among* these companies, although 
each tries to surpass the other in activity and 
intrepidity whenever a fire occurs, and also in 
the tasteful and cleanly appearance of the 
engines. It is impossible to see any thing 
lighter and more pleasing to the eye than 
these engines. They are kept in the best 
possible order, always looking as if new : the 
brass is so shining, that one would imagine it 
was placed there only yesterday ; ai\d the 
paintings which adorn the sides of the car- 
riage are often executed in a style worthy of 
a great artist. To behold all these engines, 
upon some great occasion, when they parade 
the streets, accompanied by their attendants, 
who, dressed in different uniforms, and be- 
longing to different companies, display their 
varied colours, is a sight equally singular and 
interesting. Philadelphia, New York, and 
Boston, rank foremost in regard to these fire 

The worst of all fires, happening during 
my residence in New York, was one which 
broke out in the night between the 29th and 
30th of April 1833, in that part of the city 
bordering on Greenwich Village, near the 
Hudson. Twelve hours sufficed to reduce 
nearly one hundred dwellings to ashes ; some 


accounts even made them amount to one hun- 
dred and thirty. The greater part were 
wooden buildings, occupied by the lower class 
of Irish, and emigrants lately arrived in the 
country, a circumstance which rendered the 
event still more deplorable. Four squares, 
or blocks, were laid level with the ground. 
The fire commenced at night in a stable, 
where nearly fifty horses were kept. The 
flame§, fed by much combustible matter, spread 
with such amazing rapidity, that none dared 
approach to save the poor animals, fastened 
in their stalls. More than forty perished 
in the midst of the fire and smoke ; only three 
saw daylight again, after the halters had been 
consumed, and they were thus released from 
their confinement. In the course of the 
following day, the remains of the ill-fated 
animals w^ere seen lying in a row, in the same 
order in which they had stood. Their half- 
consumed bodies were still smoking, several 
hours subsequently to the fire, and filled the 
whole neighbourhood with a stench of the 
most disgusting kind. For a considerable 
distance round the scene of desolation, house- 
hold furniture of every sort was piled up ; 
and on the smoking ruins were seen half- 
naked mothers with hungry children in their 


arms. Misery, poverty, and wretchedness, 
formed the principal features of this heart- 
rending- picture. The preceding- evening, 
these individuals were not wealthy, but at 
least richer than they now are. Yesterday 
they possessed chairs, table, and a bed ; to- 
day they are without a home. Yesterday, 
they complained, perhaps, of the bitterness 
and sorrows of life ; to-day they regret even 
the independence and happiness of yesterday. 
Ask that pale and agitated woman, that 
hoary-headed man, that care-worn father, 
their ideas of the experience they have ac- 
quired of life : with tears in their eyes they 
will answer : '' There is no misfortune that 
might not have been greater." 

Fanaticism still reigns to a certain extent, 
not only among the people in the Western 
States, but also among a portion of the inha- 
bitants settled on the Atlantic Ocean. Let 
not my meaning be misconstrued ; I do not 
presume to speak against the religious prin- 
ciples of any particular sect ; I only intend to 
allude to a few facts which occurred during 
my residence in the country, leaving to my 
readers to apply what name they please to 
the spirit which they bespeak. 

1. One Saturday afternoon, I was sitting 


with a few friends near a window on the 
lower floor of an hotel in New York. A well- 
dressed female, about thirty years of age, 
wearing a black veil and carrying a Bible in 
her hand, stopped before our window, and 
began to harangue us from the street. " To 
the city has come a prophet!" exclaimed she. 
'' He is the only Christian who has preached 
the true Gospel, as announced by the Re- 
deemer of the world." Having concluded 
this piece of intelligence, which was rather 
unexpected to the gentlemen present, she 
declaimed for nearly an hour. The tendency 
of her sermon was to praise the prophet, and 
to prove that she was herself inspired, and 
commanded by the Supreme Being to pro- 
claim on earth who this new prophet was. 
Several hundred people had, in the mean 
time, collected round her, and listened, with 
peculiar attention, to every syllable uttered 
by this female fanatic. "I invite you all," 
concluded she at last, '' to hear him preach 
to-morrow. Lose not the opportunity. You 
will be born anew by the agency of his in- 
struction !" This female belonged to a respect- 
able family, and was by no means labouring 
under mental alienation, as might be reasona- 
bly supposed. She was an extremely well- 


informed woman, and distinguished by the 
brilliancy and acuteness of her observations 
on general subjects, religion excepted. 

2. One of the most eminent dealers in dry 
goods, in the city of New York, was always 
in the habit, whenever he gave checks on the 
Bank for benevolent purposes, to word them : 
"To the order of the Lord." In his books 
the same individual kept a regular account 
current with the Lord, in which He was 
debited for all sums paid for any good and 
charitable purpose. 

3. On the breaking up of Congress, in 
1832, GeneralJackson left Washington in the 
beginning of August, to take a little recrea- 
tion in the country, and to pass a few quiet 
months, after a stormy session. A rumo\ir 
was propagated that, during this excursion, 
he had travelled a few miles on a Sunday, 
instead of keeping that day holy by attending 
divine service. The press, in all parts of the 
country, was loud in its condemnation of so 
profane a violation of the sabbath ; in some 
congregations, even the President was already 
looked upon as an incorrigible atheist. Public 
indignation at the circumstance ran, at length, 
so high, that the friends of the President were 
actually obliged to refute, in the newspapers, 


the correctness of the assertion, and declare 
to the nation, that the President, so far from 
having travelled on the day in question, at- 
tended divine service as usual, and did not 
continue his journey till the following day. 


If from society we learn to live, 
'Tis solitude should teach us how to die : 
It hath no flatterers ; vanity can give 
No hollow aid; alone, man with his God must strive. 


American prisons, regulated upon the new 
penitentiary system, attract, at the present 
moment, general attention in Europe. The 
friend of humanity actually shudders, and 
with justice, on visiting the gloomy, un- 
healthy, and, in our enlightened times, really 
disgraceful dungeons, where criminals on our 
side of the Atlantic are confined. On enter- 
ing these receptacles of misery, what pre- 
sents itself to the eye ? Accused and con- 
demned, old men and young, all mixed toge- 
ther in the same place. Nothing is heard of 
but frequent desertions, continual infractions 
of discipline, cruel punishments, and dreadful 
mortality. Contemplate these prisoners — what 
is the expression of their looks ? Revenge, 
nothing but revenge. After such a sight, 


may not one ask, " Do these prisons answer 
the purpose?" Without hesitation, I shall 
answer, No ! 

The Americans were the first who thought 
seriously of a prison reform. By repeated 
trials, a new system has been established, 
which has already shown, and will still fur- 
ther display, important results ; which, more- 
over, although it at first encountered consi- 
derable objections on the part of the advocates 
of the old prison-discipline, now spreads with 
extraordinary rapidity all over the Union. 
Prisons have hitherto been only places for the 
infliction of torture, and schools for the com- 
mission of crimes — now, they are converted 
into hospitals for the cure of those who are 
morally sick. A prisoner not only atones for 
his offence; his moral reform and improve- 
ment are at the same time effected. It is not 
necessary for him to be, as heretofore, a bur- 
den to the State, during the period of his 
detention ; nor, after his liberation, is he 
branded w^ith infamy for ever. The State 
has only lost him so long as the period of 
punishment lasts ; he is then only considered 
as having laboured under moral infirmity. 
When he has recovered his former vigour and 
health, he enters upon the scene as a new 


man, a member who may still be useful to 

In America, there are at present two new 
systems that are acted upon. One is the Au- 
burn system, as it is called, w^hich rests upon 
this basis : work together in the day-time in 
profound silence, and solitude at night. This 
plan is followed at the new prisons at Sing- 
sing and Wethersfield, the former in the 
State of New York, on the banks of the Hud- 
son, the latter in Connecticut. Massachusetts, 
Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maine, and 
Vermont, have also regulated their prisons 
upon the same plan. The other system, again, 
is that which goes by the name of the Phila- 
delphia, and which has for its basis : solitude, 
night and day, with labour. The State of 
New Jersey is as yet the only one which has 
followed the example of Pennsylvania. 

As detrimental as is an excessive tender- 
ness to prisoners, so also is cruelty, when 
exercised towards them. The medium is in 
this, as in many other cases, what should be 
adopted; and, if this course, as regards 
prisons, has ever been found available, it cer- 
tainly is in the new Penitentiary system. Se- 
verity is sometimes practised, but it does not 
border on tyranny, or aim at compelling the 

VOL. II. o 


prisoner to lead a life unbecoming a man, still 
less at debasing him in the eyes of his fellow- 
creatures ; its sole object is to bring about a re- 
form, which gradually raises the fallen to that 
station in society from which he sank at the 
period of the commission of the crime. That 
this great benefit is more fully accomplished 
by the Penitentiary system than by any other 
hitherto attempted, I consider beyond a doubt. 
The most conclusive proof is the statement 
that the number of persons sent back to the 
old prisons, as compared to that of condemned 
criminals altogether, was in the proportion of 
one to six, whereas, in the new prisons, the 
average was as one to twenty. I am, how- 
ever, not of opinion that a man, who from 
infancy has imbibed questionable habits and 
principles ; who, during a course of vice, has 
allowed them unrestrained indulgence — and, 
in a word, has been so complete a slave to 
their influence, that his character has received 
a deep impression from them ; I do not be- 
lieve, I say, that such an individual can be com- 
pletely reformed. There are people who pre- 
tend that such a change is not only practica- 
ble, but has actually been effected : be this as 
it may, if a prisoner, on recovering his liberty, 
is not morally worse than when he entered the 


house of detention, which was the case in the 
old prisons, something* at least has been 
gained. As long, therefore, as no system has 
been found that produces, if I may be per- 
mitted the expression, a regeneration of the 
criminals, that system ought to be considered 
the best which does not destroy them. 

But how can this regeneration be accom- 
plished ? The habits of the prisoner must be 
changed, and a new direction given to his 
thoughts and ideas. Solitude is in this respect 
highly essential. The isolated situation of 
the prisoner prevents him from injuring others, 
and makes him, if not better, at least not 
worse. He is severely punished for his crime, 
I admit; but he is treated as a fellow-creature, 
for whom we feel, and whose welfare is dear 
to us. He was indolent, and knew not how 
to work ; solitude has now compelled liim to 
have recourse to labour, which is given to 
him, to prevent his dying from inactivity, 
and habit makes it, at last, indispensable. He 
could neither read nor write, and had no more 
idea of religion than the slave in the West 
Indies. The Bible is now a valuable conso- 
lation to him. He disliked quiet and order — 
habit, become mechanical, makes him follow 
with exactness the rules laid down for him. He 

o 2 


scoffed at virtue, and threatened Heaven itself: 
his long', not corporeal but mental, sufferings 
soon inspired him with a dread of crime. 
He has ever defied the laws : he now finds that 
they are stronger than he. He is, perhaps, 
not the man whose honour is more sacred 
than life ; but he has acquired honourable 
habits, and, thus impressed, he leaves the 
prison with a deep respect for the laws of 
the country. What more can be expected 
from a prison ? 

Auburn prison, the first which followed the 
new system, was founded in the year 1816 ; 
and in 1821 it was sufficiently ready to receive 
eighty prisoners, in different rooms. Attempts 
were made, at first, to improve the criminals 
by uninterrupted solitude, without labour ; 
but the result soon showed that, without pro- 
ducing a reform, it brought on insanity or 
death. Those who did not sink into the 
deepest state of depression, often bordering 
on aberration of mind, were gradually under- 
mined by a slow disease, which consigned 
them to a premature grave. The experi- 
ment was, therefore, immediately abandoned, 
and, in its stead, a modification of the system 
adopted, which has since been followed with 
success. Auburn prison was, however, found 


too small for such a State as New York, 
where each prisoner must have a separate 
room. Elam Lynds, an enterprising* cha- 
racter, for a time at the head of the Auburn 
establishment, now undertook the building of 
Singsing, the largest prison, upon the new 
system, in America. The manner in which 
it was built is singular, and deserves to be 

Accompanied by one hundred criminals from 
Auburn, whom he had brought to obedience, 
he traversed the country, a distance of about 
three hundred miles, and arrived on the banks 
of the Hudson, where he encamped. There 
were no walls or arms to detain them : his 
own strength of mind and his authority over 
them alone inspired fear and commanded 
obedience. He employed every one in some 
useful handicraft business : masons and car- 
penters sprung up in rapid succession. Several 
years elapsed before they were able to erect 
and complete their own prison ; and, even to 
this day, the unfortunate delinquents are 
occupied in constructing walls, which, when 
ready, will exclude them from the world. 
There is something so heart-rending in the 
sight, that it is impossible to visit Singsing 
without deep emotion ; and yet that system 


must surely be admired which only requires, 
for the superintendence of one thousand 
criminals, a collective guard of thirteen indi- 
viduals. " The strength and perfection of 
this institution," say the Commissioners in 
their report of Singsing prison of the 16th of 
December, 1831, addressed to the Legislature 
of New York, "do not appear to be generally 
known. Here are about one thousand offend- 
ers, from the lowest delinquent — the refuse 
of society — to the most hardened desperado, 
whose hands are, perhaps, imbrued in blood, 
and whose past life has only been a series of 
abominations and crimes. Of all these, there 
is not one confined under lock and key during 
the hours of labour, or surrounded by walls, or 
fettered and handcuffed; they are all scattered 
in various directions, and some at work a 
quarter of a mile from the prison. What 
keeps them in this state of obedience? Thir- 
teen overseers ? (For there are no more at one 
time). No, only by the force of discipline are 
they brought to obedience and submission to 
their superiors, employed in the most useful 
and advantageous manner, and moved as if 
propelled by the most perfect mechanism." 

When I visited this interesting prison for 
the first time, I certainly cannot deny that 


it appeared to me an absurdity, I may add 
folly, to attempt to manage and keep in awe 
one thousand offenders by means of only thir- 
teen individuals: and, when I afterwards went 
into the midst of them, and found myself sur- 
rounded by thieves, assassins, and criminals 
of every kind, who walked freely about me, 
I could not refrain from putting this ques- 
tion to the superintendent, " What security 
is there that all these prisoners will not 
rise en masse on their keepers, murder them, 
and escape?" *'Our security, and the suc- 
cess of the system," answered he, " rest 
entirely on the silence prevailing'. As long 
as that can be kept up, there is no danger. 
A prisoner may harbour as horrid plans as 
he pleases ; if he is not able to communicate 
them to other criminals, his projects prove 
abortive. Should he attempt alone to have 
recourse to violence, he is seldom or ever 
supported by other prisoners, for they do not 
know what is his object, and dread, besides, 
immediate punishment, which always follows 
every offence in the prison. It is, therefore, 
with little difficulty that the overseers, pro- 
vided with loaded guns, are able to frustrate 
plans of escape and murder. But these at- 
tempts seldom occur; the severe discipline 


constantly preserved by steady labour, and 
invariable attention and vigilance on the part 
of the keepers, convinces them every moment, 
more and more, of the necessity of blindly 
obeying the rales laid down. The prisoner 
has not been here long before he perceives 
this necessity ; he soon conforms to what is 
required of him, and gains confidence in his 
overseers, knowing that they are just, though 

It is not lofty walls, iron gates, or heavy 
chains, which are necessary to keep prisoners 
in awe. Do we not frequently hear that 
criminals, loaded with chains, scale walls, 
break gates, or effect their escape in various 
other ways ? In reliance on the height of 
walls, the strength of gates, the weight of 
irons, overseers gradually relax in their duty, 
and become wrapped up in imaginary secu- 
rity ; and prisoners, who hav.e leisure to ob- 
serve every thing, and easily perceive that 
the guardians place all their trust in the sup- 
posed strength of the prison, cease to dread 
them, and seize the first opportunity to show 
this. Such is not the case in a prison arranged 
on the plan of that of Singsing ; it is just 
the reverse. The prisoner is at liberty to 
move al)out the whole day in the ()j)eii air, 


works without being' fettered, breathes only 
at night the prison air, is surrounded by no 
walls, and still cannot escape, nay, hardly 
thinks of it. Undoubtedly, the confidence 
shown by the overseers must make an im- 
pression on him, and lead to the belief that 
they possess a superiority which needs not 
the aid of material strength. I thought also 
I could read in the countenances of most 
of the prisoners an expression of perfect re- 
signation ; not that resignation which is the 
offspring of tyranny, but that which results 
from the pi •spect, however distant, of a better 

The prison at Singsing stands on the banks 
of the Hudson, surrounded by hills. On these, 
sentries, with loaded guns, are placed in such a 
situation that they can survey the whole of the 
ground on which the prisoners are scattered, 
and at work. On approaching these hills, and 
seeing the w^orkmen, partly employed in cut- 
ting stone, partly assisting in finishing the 
building, it is scarcely possible to conceive 
that it is a prison. The difficulty is increased 
on mixing among these people, perceiving 
their general assiduity, and hearing the con- 
tinual hammering among the industrious 
beings. You would rather suppose that it is a 


public workshop, or some charitable institu- 
tion. Each individual appears to attend to 
his particular business, without being remind- 
ed by the overseers, and seems to pay no 
attention to what is passing immediately 
around him. It was with the greatest diffi- 
culty that I could attract the attention of one 
of them ; but this was only for a moment ; the 
next he appeared as indifferent and uncon- 
cerned as ever. During the few hours that I 
remained there, I did not hear a single word 
uttered by any of the prisoners, nor could my 
ear discover the slightest whisper ; neverthe- 
less, I do not think it is in human power to 
prevent a word now and then from passing 
between them. This, however, happens but 
rarely ; and the few words exchanged are so 
unconnected, that the other prisoners cannot 
make out a regular sentence. It must indeed 
be a singular and horrible situation for a man 
to associate with other people, to be constantly 
with them, to work by their side, to be aware 
that they are all partners in misfortune, and 
yet not to know any thing about them. It is 
a kind of society where the members see each 
other, but have not the slightest intercourse. 
There is a link which seems to connect them 
all, and yet they are not united ; their bodies 


approximate, but their minds are divided. 
Can there be a greater or severer punishment? 

Whenever a criminal enters this prison, he 
is immediately taught a trade, if he has not 
yet learned one. The chief occupation of the 
prisoners at Singsing is cutting marble, the 
whole neighbourhood being full of a species of 
white marble, that may be broken and worked 
with little difficulty, and at a trifling expence. 
I was shown several specimens of Corinthian 
and Doric pillars, pedestals, &c., made by the 
prisoners, with an accuracy which reflected 
great credit on the master, as well as on the 
pupils. Besides the works in marble, every 
article required in the prison is manufactured 
there, such as clothes, shoes, implements, &c., 
with a number of other things, which are sold 
for the benefit of the institution. 

The prisoner is also taught to read, if he 
happens to be utterly ignorant. A Sunday 
School was established there a few years ago, 
and has indeed had the happiest and most 
extraordinary success. The Bible, hitherto 
unknown, and lying the whole year on the 
shelf in the cell unopened and unread, is now 
perused with eagerness and delight. The soli- 
tary hour no longer inspires a feeling of horror, 
since the prisoners are able to read. The Ian- 


guage of the Bible consoles and gives them 
hopes ; it calms a conscience agitated by 
solitude, and gives to the thoughts a differ- 
ent direction. They now begin to see the 
advantage of industry, temperance, and order ; 
and acquire at last, by the practice of these 
virtues, a taste for their exercise, which, 
when once they recover their liberty, will pre- 
vent a recurrence of former errors. It has 
been often insinuated that industry, tempe- 
rance, and order, forced upon an individual 
contrary to his inclination, under the threat 
of corporal punishment, cannot leave a lasting 
and pleasing impression — a conclusion which 
seems to be generally prevailing among those 
who prefer the Pennsylvania system, as well 
as those who advocate the modified Auburn 
system, as practised at Wethersfield ; but at 
Singsing, at least, the conviction appears 
established that flogging does not produce 
the baneful effect of making a hypocrite of the 
prisoner, who sees the necessity of showing 
himself obedient and improved, even if he 
entertains the idea of returning to his former 
propensities, at the expiration of the period of 
punishment. The experienced inspector on 
the spot, Lynds, affirms that flogging is the 
most humane, and at the same time the most 


effective, of all corrections. It is, therefore, 
frequently used at this prison ; the least 
offence is followed by immediate flogging-. 
It produces an instantaneous submission on 
the part of the prisoner, and does not interrupt 
his work for many moments, or injure his 
health : but still I am not convinced that its 
application is absolutely necessary for keeping 
the prisoners in order. 

In the prison in Philadelphia, no flogging is 
allowed. In refutation of this hypothesis, it 
may be observed that, when prisoners are 
kept in constant solitude, night and day, 
such a mode of punishment becomes unneces- 
sary. This I admit: but, at Wethersfield, 
where prisoners work together as at Sing- 
sing, they have for several years past been 
managed without flogging. Another objec- 
tion may be started, namely, that a prison, 
containing only two hundred prisoners, may 
be conducted without having recourse to this 
mode of correction ; but that, at an establish- 
ment like Singsing, with one thousand de- 
linquents, order and obedience could not pos- 
sibly be maintained without flogging. 

This observation leads me to the conviction 
that a prison, which contains more prisoners 
than the overseer and clergyman can have 


opportunities of examining to ascertain their 
character, and where, because it is out of their 
power to study the disposition of each, to 
scrutinize his inmost thoughts, and to give 
salutary admonitions sufficient to eradicate 
his faihngs — a prison where corporal punish- 
ments are resorted to for the same offences 
which would not have been committed, had 
time allowed these functionaries to devote 
a few hours to each — such a prison, I contend, 
does not answer the purpose. A mechanical 
obedience is, surely, not the only thing re- 
quired of the prisoner : his reformation is the 
principal aim of the new system ; and how can 
an overseer of such an establishment, at the 
period of the release of a prisoner, be fully 
convinced that he has not, during the whole 
time of his detention, played the part of a 
hypocrite, if he has not known him thoroughly, 
kept alive his few good qualities, and warned 
him against a return to former iniquities ? 
If neither he nor the clergyman has leisure to 
attend to this important duty, the institution, 
in my opinion, is not better than the former 

That part of the building at Singsing ap- 
propriated to the prisoners is very large and 
extensive, and runs in a parallel line with the 


river. In the space between it and the 
stream, there is a large yard, where all the 
stone-masonry work is performed. The dwell- 
ing-house, properly so called, is five stories 
high, with two hundred cells in each story, or 
altogether one thousand rooms, five hundred 
of which are on each side of the length of the 
house. The rooms are built one above the 
other, with doors towards open galleries, suf- 
ficiently large for one person to walk about, 
and terminating at a staircase. All this, 
again, is surrounded by an outer wall, which, 
ten feet from the inner one, supports the roof 
covering the whole. To me, the building ap- 
peared like an immense box, over which a 
glass frame had been placed. The doors of 
the prisoners' rooms are of iron, painted 
black ; opposite to them are windows in the 
outer wall, through which light and air are 
admitted, without giving the prisoner an op- 
portunity of looking out. Iron stoves and 
lamps are placed in the galleries, so that light 
and heat are equally distributed. The over- 
seers are never permitted to leave their post 
in these galleries, as long as the prisoners are 
in their rooms. They wear on their feet 
mocassins, as they are called, whicli are shoes 
made of woollen yarn, so that their steps are 


never heard. The galleries are also built \n 
such a manner, that the least noise, even 
whispering, in the cells is heard by the over- 

It is impossible to imagine any thing more 
awful than to spend a few hours here during 
the night. There reigned not only the silence 
of the grave, making the mind afraid, if I 
may so say, of its own shadow ; it was also a 
distressing, a heart-rending feeling, to fancy 
one's self in the midst of a thousand fellow- 
creatures, and yet seem as if inclosed in an 
Egyptian catacomb. The black iron doors, 
with their small bars, gave the whole build- 
ing a dismal appearance ; and the lamps 
threw a dim light along the galleries, where 
a solitary being mysteriously advanced, and, 
in his progress, appeared now a giant, now a 
dwarf, in proportion as he approached to or 
moved away from the lamps. Not a w^ord, not 
a sound, of any kind, could the ear distin- 
guish. 1 believe that if even a gnat had 
been dancing round the head of a criminal, 
the buzz occasioned by it would have de- 
lighted the remaining four hundred and 
ninety-nine in their solitude. 

Each cell is seven feet long, seven feet high, 
and three and a half wide, consequently 


sufficiently larg'e for a person who only spends 
the night in it. The walls are so thick, that 
communication with neighbours is impossible. 
Heat and light are introduced through the 
grating in the door. Each room has a ven- 
tilator, which passes through the ceiling, and 
keeps up a free circulation of air. The bed 
and bedding are kept in a state of perfect 
cleanliness and order, and, in the day time, 
turned up on one side of the wall. A Bible 
belongs to each cell. No prisoner is employed 
in more than one particular kind of work : 
whoever has the charge of the kitchen is 
never employed in any thing else. The same * 
is the case with those who wash linen, or 
clean rooms. Others are occupied as tailors, 
coopers, stone-masons, weavers, and smiths ; 
all these trades, however, are carried on in 
different places, some under sheds, others in 
workshops, under the superintendence of in- 
spectors, well acquainted with the work, and 
whose business it is to instruct those who are 
ignorant. Care is taken to place the prisoners 
as far as possible, in such a situation that 
all their faces shall be turned one way, so 
that their eyes may not meet, nor any signs 
be given. Behind the workshops are dark 
walks, with narrow and hardly perceptible 



apertures in the wall : here the inspector of 
the prison can walk without being* heard, and 
see through the holes if prisoners and keepers 
do their duty. This system of espionage on 
the part of the overseer is of the utmost im- 
portance : the prisoner is aware that an invi- 
sible eye watches his actions every minute, 
and that offences, which may possibly escape 
the vigilance of the keeper, may be perceived 
by the overseer, who never yet left a fault 
unpunished. Even the keeper is sensible of 
this secret vigilance, and dreads it; occupying 
as he does a lucrative and confidential situa- 
tion, by the favour of the overseer, he may 
also be deprived of it, if the least neglect of 
duty is discovered. 

I amused myself for some time in walking- 
through these dark corridors, and examining 
the different workshops. No where could I 
discover a single transgression : smiths were 
working with activity, coopers hammering 
incessantly, carpenters sawing and planing 
with an assiduity that did them credit; shoe- 
makers bending over their lasts, sewing with 
their long black twine, and on the tables were 
seated a dozen tailors, a la Turqiie, all as 
silent, unmusical, and careless about the 
world, as if they had been a set of automata 


just turned out of the hands of the ing*enious 
Miilzel. Who ever heard of a tailor's board, 
filled with workmen, without the accompani- 
ment of singing, laughing, joking, and anec- 
dotes ? 

In most of the European prisons, where offend- 
ers are kept at work, they receive a portion of 
the produce of their labour. This is not the 
case in American prisons, according to the new 
system, with the exception of that at Balti- 
more, where a certain task is set for each 
day, after finishing which the prisoner is at 
liberty to work for himself. At Singsing this 
plan has not been adopted. They here act 
upon the principle that a prisoner is indebted 
to the State and to society a larger sum, arising 
from the ex pence necessarily incurred for the 
maintenance of Courts of Justice, prisons, 
and police establishments, than can possibly 
be derived from his labour. He therefore 
works without the slightest remuneration, 
and without hopes of saving, by dint of in- 
dustry and indefatigable exertions, a small 
sum which might be serviceable at the period 
of his release. A law of the State of New 
York enjoins an overseer of a prison to give 
every prisoner, on recovering his liberty, a 
sum not exceeding three dollars, and a suit of 

p 2 


clothes, which must not cost more than ten. 
At the prison in Philadelphia, four dollars 
are given him, and at that of Boston, five 
dollars, with clothes worth about twenty. 

Tn general the labour of prisoners in con- 
finement in America is disposed of by con- 
tract beforehand, the contractor paying- a 
certain price for the labour of every day. 
Such is the case at Singsing. The principal 
point in such cases is, to guard against the 
too PTcat influence of the contractor in the 
prison, from his frequent inspection of the 
work. He is, however, forbidden to hold any 
other conversation with the prisoners but such 
as has reference to the progress of the work, 
and that only in the presence of the overseer. 
But, notwithstanding all these precautions, it 
has been found that the presence of a con- 
tractor in the prison produced certain incon- 
veniences. At Auburn, attempts have been 
made to preclude the contractor from access 
to the prisoners ; the consequence was, more 
order, but, on the other hand, numberless 
objections on his part ; he was never satisfied 
with the work, and started continual difficul- 
ties. The restriction was at length aban- 
doned, and the contractor was again allowed 
to inspect the progress of the work. At 



Wethersfield, this principle is entirely rejected, 
and the administration there not only pro- 
vides for the maintenance of the prisoners, 
bvit also attends to the disposal of their work. 
This is, iindoul:|tedly, the best method, and 
worthy of imitation, although it increases the 
labour and trouble of the superintendent. 

The rate paid for one day is the same for the 
whole year. Neither summer, winter, autumn, 
nor spring', neither birth nor wealth, have the 
slightest influence — all goes on in a regular 
and irrevocable course. At daybreak, a bell 
rouses the prisoners from sleep. A prayer is 
then read aloud by a clergyman, so placed 
that he can be distinctly heard by one side of 
the house at a time ; after which the prison- 
doors are opened, and, on a given signal, the 
prisoners march out and form in a line, in 
which order they proceed down to the yard, 
where they are obliged to wash their hands 
and faces, and deliver such utensils as they 
have on the preceding day taken to their 
cells. Their march is very singular, their 
bodies being close together, but, never- 
theless, they can have no communication with 
each other. All the motions are so uniform, 
the steps of one follow so closely upon those 
of the other, and the bending attitude of the 


bodies is so much alike, that one is led to be- 
lieve that the whole line is moved by a single 
string, pulled by the overseer. All eyes are 
fixed upon him, and never turned from that 
direction, until the procession j'eaches the place 
appointed for work. 

When the breakfast hour arrives, the prison- 
ers again leave their work in profound silence, 
and march back to their cells in the same 
close ranks and with the same mechanical 
appearance as before ; on their return, they 
pass the kitchen, where every one takes his 
breakfast-plate, without, however, stopping 
a moment or falling out of the line. As soon 
as they have entered their cells, the doors are 
fastened, while, in perfect solitude, they take 
a simple and wholesome yet sufficient repast'''". 
In Auburn, again, all prisoners take their 
meals together in a large refectory, provided 
with several tables and benches. Holding up 
a finger is a sign that the party making it 
wants more food : in spite of this precaution, 
which contributes to maintain silence, it has 
been found that this plan is not near so good 
as the one adopted at Singsing; all other 
prisons have, therefore, followed the latter. 

* In the latest built American prisons, each prisoner is allowed 

one ])oiind of meat, besides other food. 


After breakfast, work is resumed, and not sus- 
pended till dinner time. The whole afternoon 
is also devoted to the prosecution of labour, 
which concludes at dusk. Discipline is strictly 
observed in the whole course of the day ; and 
it is only after having' again washed hands 
and face, and listened to the prayers repeated 
by the clergyman, as in the morning, that the 
prisoner lies down in his dismal cell, and is 
relieved from toil. Experience has shown 
that it is at this period of the day, when ex- 
hausted with fatigue and left to himself, his 
mind is best disposed to be moved by the 
truths of the Gospel. The indefatigable 
clergymen attached to the new prisons avail 
themselves of this favourable disposition to 
produce the deepest impression. At Singsing, 
as well as at Auburn and Wethers field, they 
are seen at dusk going from cell to cell, and 
every where leaving behind calm and com- 
posed minds. 

I was anxious to hear the result of their 
inquiries respecting the character of various 
criminals, and spoke with several as to the 
causes which had particularly led to the com- 
mission of crimes. From the answers I re- 
ceived, I should infer, that the motives or 
incitements were principally the four fol- 


lowing : ignorance, neglect, and indifference 
of parents, drunkenness, and, finally, the in- 
fluence of women. " It is really lamentable," 
says the clergyman at Singsing in his report 
for 1831, " to see how many cases of drunken- 
ness constantly occur, upon many occasions 
purposely resorted to, to instil a greater 
daring and dismiss reflection, in the commis- 
sion of a foul deed." The resident clergyman 
at Auburn says again, in a report for the 
year 1833: "The number detained in this 
prison, at the present moment, is six hundred 
and eighty-three, of which, five hundred and 
eight, or nearly three fourths, may be classed 
as addicted to drunkenness ; one hundred and 
fifty-six are more temperate, though still given 
to liquor, and only nineteen abstemious and 
sober." But, if drunkenness has so baneful 
an influence, what has not a dissolute and 
abandoned woman ? Singular enough, there 
is hardly a criminal, in the course of whose 
life a bad woman has not played some con- 
spicuous part, either in the shape of a faithless 
and unworthy wife, who has induced him to 
commit crime, sometimes merely with a view 
to satisfy extravagant inclinations ; or, in that 
of an unnatural mother, who, by examples 
of levity, has planted the first seeds of 


crime in the bosom of her young children. 
This, I am compelled to confess, is the general 
result of the experience of those who have 
studied the heart of a culprit, and is therefore 
subject to very little doubt. 

The prison at Wethersfield, as I have 
already observed, is the smallest of all, and 
contains only about two hundred prisoners. 
The discipline here is not so severe as in the 
others, corporal punishments not being al- 
lowed. Nevertheless, delinquencies are not 
more frequent there than in places where the 
practice of flogging is adopted. The plan 
was made upon a very economical scale, and 
the yearly maintenance has so decreased in 
amount, that, instead of costing the State 
large sums, it yields a revenue, by no means 
inconsiderable, when the limited number of 
prisoners is taken into account. In the course 
of three years and a half, that is, from 1828 
to 1831, it produced to the State no less a 
sum than seventeen thousand one hundred 
and thirty-nine dollars, fifty-three cents, after 
deducting all expences. 

The prison at Auburn is larger, and 
contained, when I visited it, in the summer 
of 1833, rather more than seven hundred 
prisoners, twenty-five of whom were women. 


High walls surround this prison. Many com- 
plaints were heard on this account, and the 
resident clergyman informed me, that diseases 
amono- the women were eio'ht or ten times as 
frequent as among* the men ; a circumstance 
by which he endeavoured to prove the in- 
jurious effect of every kind of confinement in 
the day-time, the former being kept constantly 
in doors, whereas the men work all day in the 
open air. This unjust treatment of the weaker 
sex, I am in hopes, will soon be remedied, by 
the erection of a new prison, exclusively for 
women. " To be a male prisoner in this 
prison," says the same clergyman in his re- 
port for 1833, " is tolerable ; but to be a female 
prisoner for some time is worse than death." 
This expression, emanating from a credible 
and experienced man on the spot, speaks for 

I was so far favoured as to be admitted 
into this part of the building, and found the 
unfortunate beings in a situation very different 
from what I expected, judging from other 
parts of the prison. They were all assembled 
in a large room, and employed in various 
occupations. In no countenance could I read 
that tranquillity of mind, visible, \n most 
cases, in that of the men ; nor did they appear 


very submissive to the newly established dis- 
cipline. No noisy mirth, I admit, or astounding- 
oath, met my ears ; but there was an incessant 
whispering', and their significant looks evi- 
dently showed that they understood each other. ' 
In a word, much as I admired the prison of the 
men, I reject, as perfectly unfit, that of the 
women, and add, that if no alteration is made 
in the detention of the latter, no reform can 
be expected in that quarter ; and the liberated 
female will re-appear in the world, not better, 
but considerably more demoralized, than when 
first apprehended. 

The friends of the Philadelphia system 
again contend that no reform is practicable 
unless the prisoners are kept night and day 
in a state of solitude. Following this plan, a 
prison has been founded which, when ready, 
will resemble a sun, with rays diverging in 
every direction. The centre is composed of a 
rotunda, appropriated to a watch-room ; from 
this run long corridors, possessing the strong- 
est echo, so that every sound, however dis- 
tant, may be heard from one end to the other. 
On each side are the cells, between which the 
walls are so thick, that all communication is 
impossible. Each cell is eight feet wide, 
twelve feet long, and sixteen feet high It 


has a free ventilation by an air conductor 
from the corridor, is provided with sufficient 
water, light, and heat, and is, besides, fire- 
proof. The bed of the prisoner is turned up 
in the day-time against the wall, so as not 
to take up too much room. Outside the cell 
is a yard, eight feet wide, and twenty feet 
long', surrounded by a high wall : the prisoner 
is there permitted to breathe fresh air, and 
enjoy the sight of the blue canopy of heaven. 
From the passage, through small openings, 
every thing may be seen that is passing in 
the cells, and a secret police is kept up with- 
out the slightest difficulty. The prisoner is 
never permitted to leave his cell or yard, till 
the period of his detention has expired. 
When divine service is performed, small shut- 
ters, fixed in the wall towards the passage, 
are removed ; and, that the prisoners may not 
look at each other, a curtain is put up for the 
occasion, in the middle of the corridor, from 
one end to the other. The clergyman stands 
in the door of the watch-room, and directs his 
voice towards the prisoners : the echo of the 
vaialt carries every word distinctly to the 
most distant cell. In the year 1832, the 
number of prisoners was only ninety-two; 
but the new outbuildings, now under con- 


strnction, will soon allow space for one thou- 
sand criminals. 

Few moments, according' to the saying* of 
the prisoners themselves, are more dreadful 
than the first entrance into this tomb-like cell, 
from which no release can be hoped for 
months or years. I was fortunate to obtain 
a sight of an offender, condemned to four years' 
imprisonment, at the moment of his intro- 
duction. His first look was that of curiosity, 
the next astonishment, the third horror. His 
arms crossed on his chest, he remained a long 
while immoveable ; at last, as if roused from 
a lethargic dream, he looked round, and fixed 
his attention on the smallest trifle. But it 
was not long before every object had been 
surveyed. He still seemed to doubt the pos- 
sibility of his detention. In vain did he rub 
his eyes : the walls were still there. A natu- 
ral impulse drove him to the door, which he 
endeavoured to unlock : it could not be 
opened. He laid his hands on the w^alls, to 
find out of what materials they were com- 
posed : even these held out no ho])es of es- 
cape. He looked towards the ceiling : this 
he could not reach. " Damn it !" exclaimed 
he, whilst beating his forehead wildly with 
both hands. He gnashed his teeth with fury, 


and the froth of rage whitened his lips. At 
that moment nothing was sacred to him. Fa- 
ther, mother, mistress, friends, all could he 
now have despatched in cold blood. He forgot 
heaven and earth, and rent the air with im- 
precations and the language of hell. He 
scoffed contemptuously at religion, and threat- 
ened the whole world with vengeance. Work 
was offered him : he rejected it. The Bible, 
that great solace of the unfortunate and the 
unhappy, he shut with scorn, and wished it 
might be given to some godly old woman of 

Let us return to the same individual six 
months afterwards. The first paroxysm of pas- 
sion has subsided. Solitude, indeed, has calmed 
all the passions. He now threatens neither 
God nor man. His own conscience occupies 
him from morning till night. Despair makes 
him open the Bible : a new and true doctrine 
now speaks to his heart. From this moment 
he patiently submits to the discipline of the 
prison. His vindictiveness gradually changes 
into submission, and his wounded self-love is 
cured by a consciousness that nobody witnes- 
ses his punishment and dishonour. He knows 
that no fresh infliction awaits him, that no 
human being can upbraid him for transgres- 


sions committed, or induce him to commit 
new ones. Solitude becomes at last pleasing, 
a result which he little anticipated, on enter- 
ing* a prison. Offer him the company of ano- 
ther condemned criminal ; he will on his knees 
pray that he may be allowed to preserve his 
former seclusion. But, without occupation in 
his confined cell, how wearisome and insup- 
portable would life be to him ? Man is born 
for society : if all communication with living- 
beings is cut off, he must be employed at 
something that fixes his attention. Among 
all the prisoners whom I examined on the 
subject, there was not one that did not speak 
of work with feelings of gratitude. " Sun- 
day," said the very prisoner, whose history 1 
have briefly endeavoured to relate, " is the 
only day which appears long to me : 1 have 
then no opportunity of working." Occupa- 
tion gives a certain interest to the cell, which 
it did not possess before ; it has, besides, the 
advantage of fatiguing the body, without de- 
pressing the mind. This individual, driven 
to the commission of one of the most atrocious 
crimes by thoughtlessness and indolence, now 
found, singularly enough, his only happiness 
in occupation. Indolence had excited in him 
a degree of abhorrence which, when once libe- 


rated, will enable him to earn his bread in an 
honourable way. What prison can better 
advance the improvement of a culprit than 
that which imperceptibly teaches him to re- 
pent, to hope for a better life, to hate idleness, 
and to seek in religion his only consola- 
tion ? 

To induce a prisoner to reflect, undoubtedly 
the first step towards reformation, he should 
be alone. The Pennsylvania system, as I have 
before observed, says that solitude at night is 
not sufficient to answer the purpose, inasmuch 
as a man who is exhausted by the day's 
fatigue, when night comes, gives himself up 
to the solace of rest rather than to the 
seriousness of thought. A man who, in the 
course of the day, works with other prisoners, 
sees so many new^ objects around him, that, 
with the best inclination in the world, he 
cannot devote time to think of himself and 
his former crimes, or of the manner of re- 
conciling them to his present life. Left, 
on the other hand, in solitude, night and day, 
he is obliged to think, the narrow cell offering- 
no distraction, no food for his thoughts. 
Where a spider or a worm may form an epoch, 
there indeed is man left to his own reflec- 
tions ! 


On common prisoners, such in particular as 
have hardly received any education, this un- 
interrupted solitude has, in general, had a 
still stronger influence. They have none of 
the resources of an enlightened mind, which 
can revert to the great productions of former 
days, to the politics of the present day, or to 
calculations for the future : they are con- 
tinually reminded of the cause of their de- 
tention. On persons so disposed it is easy 
to make a favourable impression. If these 
precious moments are not lost, if the clergy- 
man knows how to take advantage of them, 
no doubt can be entertained that the criminal 
may be reclaimed. The voice of religion, 
from the lips of the spiritual adviser, makes 
deeper impression, and causes greater emotion, 
in solitude than in the bustle of the world. 
His language, at once warning and encou- 
i-aging, threatening and full of hope, pene- 
trates the heart, like a voice from the other 
world. The captive not only views his own 
physical sufferings with resignation, but im- 
bibes clearer ideas of God, of eternity, of 
future punishments and rewards. What seems 
particularly to operate upon a prisoner thus 
situated is the recollection of his family, his 
nearest relations. The name alone of a de- 



serted wife, an aged father, a sickly child, 
shakes his nerves. " Tell me only that my 
wife and son do not curse me," said one of 
these prisoners, *' and I will cheerfully submit 
to my fate!" 

It has often been affirmed that solitude en- 
tails the most injurious effect on the health of 
prisoners. This is an unreasonable assertion, 
completely refuted by experience. When I 
visited the prison in Philadelphia, none of the 
inmates had a sickly look : I do not mean to 
say that they had the freshness of health, but 
their faces did not bear the yellow tinge so 
common in other prisons. Medical men even 
asserted that their health was better than 
when they entered the prison. The most 
common cases were colds, dysenteries, and 
consumptions. During the prevalence of the 
cholera in the city, not a single case occurred 
here. Nor was insanity more frequent than 
among the same number of men in the en- 
joyment of liberty. From the establishment 
of this prison, down to the end of 1833, the 
average mortality may be calculated at less 
than five per cent. Which of these two 
systems is then the more conducive to useful- 
ness and to the ends proposed by the com- 
munity ? 


The Philadelphia system guarantees the 
impossibility of contamination by contact. 

Tlie Auburn system depends in this respect 
on the attention of the overseers. 

Philadelphia produces the strongest im- 
pression on the prisoners, and, consequently, 
a greater reform than 

Auburn, which, however, forms them more 
for social life. 

Philadelphia leaves the prisoners in per- 
fect ignorance as to their comrades in misfor- 

Auburn only prevents their verbal inter- 
course. On recovering their liberty, it is 
natural that their former sufferings should 
make them contract intimacies, for the pur- 
pose of committing new crimes. 

Philadelphia has not yet opened its doors a 
second time to a single prisoner, after the ex- 
piration of his first detention. Hence it may 
be inferred, either that a complete reform has 
been effected, or, what is more probable, that 
the prison inspires such horror that it deters 
him from fresh trespasses. 

Auburn cannot show the same favourable 
result. At this prison, the proportion of 
prisoners condemned for the second time to 
those composing the aggregate of inmates 



was, from the year 1824 to 1831, as one to 

Philadelphia is more expensive than its 
rival, and must ever cost more than 

Auburn. Here it is necessary to remark 
that the prison built in Philadelphia was 
more expensive than necessary. Experience 
has shown that a great saving* may be 

Philadelphia ought to pay as well as Au- 
burn : I cannot see any reason why work 
done in solitude should not be as lucrative to 
the institution as that executed in a common 
workshop. It would, undoubtedly, require 
some time before the prison could maintain 
itself without assistance from the State, 
though, according to the report of the over- 
seer, this desirable result has already been 
attained. Hence it may be hoped that it 
may one day, like prisons following the Au- 
burn system, have a surplus revenue. 

Auburn has hitherto paid better than Phila- 
delphia. Prisons adopting this plan have not 
only maintained themselves, but have ex- 
hibited the singular result of a considera- 
ble surplus accruing to the State. This is 
the case at Auburn, Wethersfield, Baltimore, 


The Philadelphia system is, therefore, in 
my opinion, more radical in its effect, better 
in its execution, and deserving in every re- 
spect the preference to the other, if sufficient 
funds are found to act upon it at the first 
foundation of the prison. 


Enfiu, qu' est voire chef? 


The person of the President of the United 
States is not more sacred than that of any 
other private individual. The Constitution 
provides no farther protection for him than it 
affords to the meanest citizen in the Re- 
pubhc. For a provocation or insult, he has 
no remedy but that which is open to every 
one — the tribunal of the country. A singular 
circumstance, applicable to what I have been 
saying', happened in the course of the present 
spring. General Jackson had deemed it con- 
sistent with his duty to strike out of the 
rolls of the Navy the name of an officer for 
an alleged neglect of duty in the service. 
Whilst proceeding on a journey to Fredericks- 
burg in Virginia, whither he had been in- 
vited for the purpose of laying the foundation- 
stone for a monument in honour of Washing- 


ton's mother, he was grossly insulted at 
Alexandria, in the cabin of the steamboat 
which stopped there for a few minutes, and 
struck in the fiice by the aggrieved lieutenant, 
who had previously determined to be avenged, 
in the best manner he could, for what he con- 
ceived to be a gross injury. The President, 
although advanced in years, placed himself 
in an attitude of defence, and intended to 
inflict on the bold aggressor a summary 
chastisement with his own cane. During the 
confusion incidental in such a scene, the lieu- 
tenant effected his escape, and fled across the 
boundary line into Virginia. He was after- 
wards arraigned before the tribunal in the 
same State, for having committed an assault 
upon the first magistrate of the Republic, and 
sentenced to a short imprisonment ; here the 
matter rested, and nothing more was heard 
of it. The suit was between General Jackson, 
not President Jackson, and the accused, con- 
sequently, between two individuals, who had 
to abide by the decision of the court. Whe- 
ther the aggressor had been justly or unjustly 
dealt with by the President, it was, neverthe- 
less, unwarrantable and disgraceful for a man 
of honour to resort to personal violence towards 
a man of the President's advanced years. 

232 THE president's tour. 

Scarcely had he returned from this excur- 
sion, when General Jackson determined to un- 
dertake his famous tour through the Northern 
and Eastern States. I have little doubt that 
this plan was mixed up with political conside- 
rations, and that its object was, in part, to 
uphold the courage of his friends, and if pos- 
sible to lessen the number of his enemies, at the 
ensuing elections. Several towns through 
which he passed arrayed themselves on the 
side of opposition: notwithstanding this de- 
claration, they received the distinguished 
guest with every demonstration of outward 
respect. In Boston, for instance, where his 
measures were condemned by the majority of 
the citizens, his reception was such as to pre- 
clude the inference of a general dislike to his 
policy. Persons, who had upon all occasions 
been his most inveterate opponents, and who 
had never ceased to counteract his wishes, 
placed themselves foremost in the ranks of 
those who offered General Jackson their con- 
gratulations on his arrival. It was not to 
the man, but to the President of the United 
States, that they wished to show attention; 
and upon this principle they neglected nothing 
which could possibly enhance the splendour 
and eclat of his reception. In New York, 


nearly half its population assembled on the 
occasion at the Battery and at Castle Garden ; 
and the crowd in the streets was beyond all 
precedent. It certainly is not going beyond 
the limits of truth to state, that the number 
of those who received him could not be less 
than one hundred thousand ; I even heard 
them computed at a still greater number. 
He came on that day from Philadelphia, 
and landed from the steamboat at Castle 
Garden, where the authorities of the city 
paid their respects to the distinguished visiter. 
Here he mounted on horseback, proceeded to 
the Battery, received a number of militia, 
and continued his route to the place of resi- 
dence assigned to him, amidst a mass of 
people, whose continual huzzas and waving of 
handkerchiefs sufficiently indicated the joy 
and satisfaction they derived from the pre- 
sence of their chief magistrate in New York. 
In passing the bridge, connecting Castle 
Garden with the Battery, he however, had 
well nigh terminated his glorious career. 
Hardly had his horse quitted it, before one 
end of this decayed structure gave way, and 
fell into the water, with the whole weight of 
a dense mass of people, which followed close 
behind the President. 


Curiosity had also led me to the spot, in 
company with a few friends, to witness the 
landing ; as the crowd, every moment on the 
increase, precluded the possibility of a retreat, 
we were obliged to remain on the bridge till 
it had somewhat dispersed. At this moment, 
part of it, with a small gate adjoining, gave 
way, and precipitated all those on it and on 
the roof into the water. Hundreds took a 
comfortable cold bath in honour of the fes- 
tivity : others, less fortunate, stuck fast in the 
mud, and looked at each other with woeful 
countenances. The sight was at once laugh- 
able and melancholy. The fright was, how- 
ever, greater than the danger, the water 
being low and the bottom consisting of soft 
mud, as was clearly shown by the garments 
of those who had just emerged from it. A 
few corpulent individuals suffered most, and 
were dreadfully squeezed by the crowd. Tn 
front of us stood several persons, labouring 
under this disadvantage, who, when they once 
felt their feet slipping, could not possibly be 
checked before they had reached the bottom : 
this incident, coupled with an opportune re- 
treat of a few yards from the spot, a second 
or two before the accident occurred, saved us 
from participating in the aquatic experiment. 


None perished, or received any injury : a few 
hats were swimming- in the bay, and numbers 
of coats had to be sent to the tailors for im- 
mediate repairs, being* torn in various places. 

After having feasted a few days at New 
York, shaken hands with thousands of citi- 
zens, given audience to the ladies of the city, 
received presents from the authorities and 
private individuals*, the President started for 
Boston, where he met with the same cordial 
reception, although he could not, among the 
whole population, calculate upon more than 
one-sixth as his political friends. 

At Roxburgh, not far from Boston, a tri- 
umphal arch had been erected, on which was 
the following inscription : " The Union must 
be preserved," which alluded to an expression 
used by General Jackson the winter before, 
when the principles of Nullification threatened 
a dissolution of the States. The President 
was delighted on reading this inscription, and 
exclaimed, in a tone which characterized his 
determined disposition, "It shall be preserved, 
as long as there is a nerve in this arm." 

In Boston itself, he was received by all the 
authorities, and proceeded in an open landau 

- • The authorities of the city presented him with a beautiful sad- 
dle-horse , Hud -i tailor, with a new black suit, ^^'c. 


through the ranks of several thousand well- 
dressed children of both sexes. Further on, 
he passed all the Engine Companies, with 
their colours and other insignia displayed; 
and, finally, through the ranks of several 
militia regiments, some of whom had no 
uniforms, and were known to be soldiers only 
by their carrying muskets on their shoulders, 
and cartouch-boxes at their backs. 

Independently of reviews, breakfasts, sup- 
pers, and entertainments of different kinds, 
at vvhich the President was obliged to drink 
wine with any one who chose to solicit the 
honour, he was completely fatigued by conti- 
nual presentations, at which custom required 
him to shake hands with every one. 

This, coupled with various attacks of colds, 
attributable to his exposing his bare head to 
rain, operated so seriously on the health of 
the veteran, that, instead of continuing his 
journey, as he intended, through all the 
Northern and Eastern States, he was obliged, 
at Concord, in New Hampshire, to retrace 
his steps towards Washington. 

During the greater part of this journey, he 
was accompanied by the Vice-President, and 
one of the Secretaries of State ; but as both, 
particularly the first, were no favourites with 


the people of Boston, they thoui^ht it expedient 
to keep in the back-ground, and only appeared 
under the shade of the President. 

Shortly after the arriv al of General Jackson 
at New York, came also the celebrated Indian 
Chief, Black Hawk, who, captured during the 
war of 1832, in the Western States, had, 
together with the Prophet and their full- 
grown sons, been sent, first to St. Louis, and 
afterwards to a fort not far from Washington. 
They had now been restored to liberty, and, 
accompanied by an interpreter, they at length 
obtained leave to return to their wives, chil- 
dren, and home, on the other side of the Mis- 

Black Hawk himself was an elderly man, 
with a bald head and serene look. His son 
appeared to me the heau ideal of human 
strength ; and, although rather fat, possessed 
all those advantages of person so well calcu- 
lated to subdue even the coldest female heart. 
The Prophet, again, had in his looks and 
manners a stoical dignity, which he never 
failed to support. It was not difficult to disco- 
ver that this man had devoted part of his life 
to thoughts of more depth than those that 
generally engage the minds of Indian war- 
riors. In him, as well as in the countenance 


of his son, I thought that T could discover a 
certain secret savage disposition to spill human 

These Indians happened to arrive at New 
York at the very time that a bold aeronaut, 
of the name of Durant, made an ascent in a 
balloon. Of all they had seen in the United 
States, nothing made a deeper impression on 
them than this aerial voyage. The great 
crowd assembled upon the occasion, the hand- 
some buildings, the splendid equipages, most 
undoubtedly had struck them : perhaps they 
might even have fallen in love with some of 
the many fair squaws, who, from motives of 
curiosity, daily visited them during their stay 
in New York, and who, as the Indians con- 
ceived, were desirous to marry them. But 
the aeronaut was always uppermost in their 
admiration ; they looked upon him as a sor- 
cerer, and never mentioned the name of the 
Great Warrior, for so they styled him, but 
with the deepest veneration. Probably, in 
the account given by them to their children of 
what they have seen, he plays as great a part 
as the father himself at Washington. 

About this time, in the beginning of the 
summer, I undertook a short excursion to 
Newport and Plymouth. 

NEVVPORl'. 239 

Newport is situated in the State of Rhode 
Island, not far from the spot where the same 
river which runs through Providence dis- 
charges itself into the sea. The town has an 
ugly and old-fashioned appearance, and the 
houses seem so indifferent that one might almost 
imagine them to have been collected from the 
refuse of all parts of the New England States. 
The inhabitants subsist almost exclusively by 
shipping, which is not inconsiderable. In 
summer, this place is much frequented by 
strangers, attracted by the excellent sea- 
bathing. For my part, it would be the last 
spot I should select for a summer residence, 
having nothing inviting, either within or 
without the town. This is an additional evi- 
dence of the singularity of taste prevalent in 
America, which induces people to spend the 
summer not in the country, but in a petty 
town, for the purpose of enjoying the plea- 
sures of a winter's social life, in preference to 
inhaling salubrious country air. I felt anx- 
ious to see the curiosities of the city, and was 
at once shown two places situated outside 
the town of Newport, known by the names 
Purgatory and Paradise, and which, accord- 
ing to what I vvas told, formed the sum total 
of what the city had to boast. My readers, I 


presume, are as anxious as I was to become 
acquainted with two places so interesting. 
Let us perform a pilgrimage together. 

Along the sea-shore is a steep rock, in 
which a cleft has been formed, equally narrow 
and dark. The sea penetrates to the in- 
most recesses of the aperture, and recedes 
with noise from the opening, where the froth 
of agitated waves rises like a white column. 
In the upper part of this cleft, a few birds had 
formed a settlement, and hovered restlessly 
to and fro in the dark pit. This was Purga- 
tory. A little further on, at the foot of a 
mountain, is a grove, on one side inclosed by 
an ugly and miserable hedge. Under the 
shade of trees, a few fat cow s w ere seen feed- 
ing ; and not far from them slumbered on the 
grass, pleasant to behold, a damsel who, to 
judge from the empty pail standing by her 
side, must have repaired to the spot for the 
purpose of milking the said cows ; but, pro- 
bably struck with the beauty of the place, had 
fallen into a profound sleep. This was Pa- 

Satisfied with a hasty peep into the dark 
recesses of Purgatory, and with enjoying as 
much as I could of the felicity of Paradise, I 
proceeded by land from Newport to Plymouth, 


in Massachusetts. The country presented no 
peculiar feature worth mentioning', and the 
road was extremely sandy. Near Newport, 
fish-bones and fish-skins were used as manure 
for the fields, by which a most onensive 
stench was diffused all over the neighbour- 
hood. I was assured that it was not injuri- 
ous to health. This point I do not mean to 
contest ; at all events it was extremely dis- 
agreeable, and took away all the balmy fra- 
grance of country air. 

On leaving Newport, I was accompanied in 
the stage by only three individuals, whicli 
number was not increased till we were half 
way to Plymouth, when we were joined by 
four elderly men, just returning from a wed- 
ding, where they had been partaking of all 
the amusements usual upon such occasions. 
They appeared to me regular bacchanalians, 
and to have done ample justice to both vvine 
and punch ; but my travelling companions, 
who happened to be distinguished promoters 
of the Temperance Societies in New York, 
did not at first perceive their state. Not a 
word was uttered in the coach for a long- 
while; the four new-comers diverted them- 
selves with looking at those who were previ- 
ously in the coach. They must have become 



pretty well tired with this examination, for, 
all at once, they pulled out of their pockets a 
few dozen biscuits, pieces of bread, and tarts, 
which they attacked most voraciously. But 
the critical moment came at last : out of their 
coat- pockets peeped modestly the necks of a 
couple of well-filled bottles. The promoters 
of the New York Temperance Societies turned 
pale at the sight. They had previously, with 
the patience of Job, allowed the hungry tra- 
vellers peaceably to consume their dry provi- 
sions, and tamely submitted to a profusion of 
crumbs carelessly sprinkled over all present. 
But when they saw the bottles making their 
appearance, and detected the odour of whisky- 
punch, so repulsive to a member of a Temper- 
ance Society, they shrank back with horror, 
and gazed at each other, as if to consult what 
measures were proper to be adopted on this 
emergency. One of them, who shortly be- 
fore, in a dissertation, which lasted four long 
miles, had, as he thought, eloquently treated 
of " the beneficial influence of water on the 
human frame," at length took courage, and 
thus addressed the drinking party : *' Tem- 
perance Societies, I presume, have few ad- 
vocates in the neighbourhood of the place 
where you reside, gentlemen?" ''Fudge on 


your Temperance Societies !" exclaimed one 
of the opponents, with the bottle to his mouth. 
'' They have already done harm enough in 
this world. Of late years, people have actu- 
ally been as if smitten with a mania for drink- 
ing- water ; and what is the consequence ? 
That they died like horse-flies the moment the 
cholera made its appearance." '* As for me," 
rejoined another, " they have totally ruined 
me : my rum-distillery is nearly knocked up, 
and if we do not soon find some remedy for 
this distemper, all the distilleries in the New- 
England States will, upon my honour, be shut 
up, and what will then become of us ? Neither 
the people nor the Government can do without 
them." "Europeans who have visited this 
country," observed a third, " make it a point 
to state in their travels how extremely thin 
and dry we Americans are in general, and 
wonder why our faces are so long and wi- 
thered ! How can it be otherwise, when peo- 
ple drink nothing but water ! Think of that, 
nothing but water !" The champion of Tem- 
perance had, in the mean time, collected a 
store of arguments in support of water-drink- 
ing and abstinence ; and I could easily read 
in his eyes a certain impatience to defend his 
cause. To judge by his anxiety, he must in- 

R 2 


deed have prepared one of the most eloquent 
orations on this interesting subject ; for, when 
the last speaker had concluded, his counte- 
nance cleared up, and a kind of confident 
smile g-raced his lips, as if certain of victory 
beforehand. At this moment, the fourth of 
the wedding party finished the bottle, ex- 
claiming, whilst throwing the empty vessel 
into a ditch close to the road, in a tone of voice 
capable of deterring the boldest arm : " As 
true as I am sitting here, I will drown the 
first Temperance friend I get hold of in a tub 
of brandy !" A gesture, suitable to the ex- 
pression, followed this solemn assurance. The 
friend and champion of water was staggered. 
He by no means relished this vow made to 
Bacchus, wisely conformed to circumstances, 
and continued silent. The laboured speech 
which was ready to burst from his lips re- 
mained undelivered, or was reserved at least 
for a more favourable opportunity, when it 
will no doubt appear pregnant with irresisti- 
ble arguments. 

The conversation was here suddenly cut 
short; every one resumed his former silence; 
and the coach rolled on without interrup- 
tion, until we arrived at the old town of Ply- 


This place, which recalls to memory so 
many remarkable events in American his- 
tory, stands on the sea-shore, at the foot of 
an eminence. The harbour is large, and 
would be one of the best in the United States 
if it were deeper. It is formed by a project- 
ing point of land opposite to the town, which 
stretches into the sea in the form of a semi- 
circle. In the opening, appear several islands, 
of which one is called Clarke's Island, because 
a man of that name, one of the pilgrims, was 
the first who set foot on this shore. On this 
island the pilgrims passed the Sunday before 
they landed on the American territory, which 
they did the following day, on a rock now for 
the most part covered by a store-house. 
These English emigrants, whose only objects 
were the free exercise of their religion and 
a peaceable home, landed on the 22d Decem- 
ber, 1620. 

Wild was the day, the wintry sea 

Moaned sadly on New England's strand. 

When first the thoughtful and the free. 
Our fathers, trod the desert land. 

They little thought how pure a light, 

W^ith years, should gather round that day ; 

How love should keep their memories bright. 
How wide a realm their sons should sway.* 

Bryant's Poems, p. 204. 


On an eminence above the town is a ceme- 
tery, where the remains of some of the first 
inhabitants are interred. Numerous grave- 
stones are scattered over this ground : on one 
of them was sitting, or rather rechning, an 
elderly well-dressed man, whose eyes appeared 
to be fixed on the fine harbour and the small 
island at a distance. The sound of my steps 
roused him from his deep meditations : he 
seemed to be almost offended at being disturb- 
ed. The beautiful view, and the fineness of a 
moonlight evening, gave me as much inclina- 
tion as himself to enjoy both. I sat down in 
silence on one of the grave-stones at his side, 
and examined with interest the green moss 
which here and there covered them, and hid 
the names of those who reposed beneath. Sir 
Thomas Browne's celebrated dissertation 
called "Hydriotaphia" now presented itself to 
my imagination. How true did the ideas of this 
profound philosopher appear to me ! "Grave- 
stones tell truth scarce forty years," says 
he, in one part of the said work ; "generations 
pass while some trees stand, and old families 
last not three oaks. To be read by bare in- 
scriptions, like many in Gruter ; to hope for 
eternity by enigmatical epithets, or first let- 
ters of our names ; to be studied by antiqua- 


ries, who we were, and have new names given 
us, like many of the mammies, are cold con- 
solations unto the students of perpetuity, 
even by everlasting- languages." 

An affinity of thoughts and purposes 
brought me at length in closer contact with 
the elderly man. His conversation bore the 
stamp of learning, and the language which 
fell from his lips was eloquent in the true ac- 
ceptation of the word. With peculiar delight 
he seemed to dwell on those events which had 
given to Plymouth a place in history, and 
spoke, with real enthusiasm, of several traits in 
the life of the Indians, with whom the first colo- 
nists had to fight for possession. His descrip- 
tion of the progress of the colony, and the 
consequences which have resulted from it, 
were in the highest degree interesting : I have 
since often regretted that I could not retain 
every word in my memory. From former 
times, he came at last to the present; and 
concluded his narrative with a few short and 
poetical reflections respecting the cemetery, 
the moonlight, the stillness of night, and the 
prospect before us. " Look around you," 
exclaimed he, in an elevated voice; " here lies 
a world of men !" At the conclusion of these 
words, he rose ; and, pursuing his way among 

248 LOWELL. 

the tombs, his shadow soon disappeared from 
my sight. 

From Plymouth I proceeded to Boston, and 
thence again to Lowell, distant twenty-six 
miles from the latter city. A canal has, for 
some years, been employed for the transport 
of goods between Boston and Lowell ; but a 
private company is now occupied in construct- 
ing a railroad in the same direction, which will 
further facilitate the communication. 

Lowell is situated at the junction of the 
Rivers Merrimack and Concord, the banks of 
which are extremely interesting to the eye. 
The town, which twenty years ago could only 
boast of one hut, has now, according to a late 
census, a population of twelve thousand three 
hundred and sixty-three. It has already as- 
sumed the appearance of a large town, con- 
tains several fine and wide streets, and is 
particularly embellished by a number of ex- 
tensive factories, of which nineteen were in 
full activity. The prosperity of Lowell is, in 
a great measure, attributable to the encou- 
ragement given in later times to home manu- 
factures ; and this place was particularly 
favoured by the circumstance that the soil in 
the New England States is generally so poor 
that it neither can su[)])ort its population, nor 


hold out to capitalists sufficient inducement 
to invest their property in that branch of in- 
dustry. The number of factories is on the 
increase every year. All are carried on by 
water power from the two streams, the falls 
of which are calculated at about thirty feet. 

The whole amount of capital already in- 
vested in these manufactories is about six 
millions of dollars, of which the Merrimack 
Company alone has embarked one million and 
a half. The buildings are about one hundred 
and fifty feet long, by forty-five in width, and 
five stories high. The number of looms is 
more than three thousand. Of cotton no less 
than eight millions of pounds, or twenty thou- 
sand bales, are annually worked up : the manu- 
factured goods amount to twenty-seven mil- 
lions of yards. Five thousand persons, one 
thousand two hundred males, and three 
thousand eight hundred females, are employed 
at the different manufactories, and receive 
yearly for their labour the considerable sum 
of one million two hundred thousand dollars. 
Several of these manufactories have yielded 
to the shareholders dividends of from sixteen 
to twenty per cent. 

Not only are cotton stuffs manufactured 
here, but carpets and fine cloths are also 


made, in which five hundred thousand pounds 
of wool are used in a year. Many of these 
carpets, as far at least as richness of colour is 
concerned, vie with those manufactured at 
Brussels. It is presumed that, in the course 
of time, this place will be able to supply the 
whole country with these articles of luxury. 

At the cotton factories the work is chiefly 
performed by young girls. The Merrimack 
Company employs no fewer than one thousand 
two hundred, the cleverest of whom earn as 
much as three dollars and a half a week. 
They board and lodge in the neighbourhood 
at the rate of one dollar and a quarter a week, 
and have thus a handsome surplus, which 
they deposit in the Savings' Bank. It not 
unfrequently happens that these girls, by 
industry, save so much as to be able to dis- 
charge the debts of an unfortunate parent, or 
to redeem a small property, which, by the 
mismanagement of relatives, has been mort- 
gaged or offered for sale. The greater part 
are farmers' daughters in the neighbourhood, 
and they have nearly all received the first ru- 
diments of a simple education. None of them 
look unhealthy, but, on the other hand, they 
cannot be said to have much colour on their 
cheeks. Their morals are unexceptionable : 


they are even so particular in regard to each 
other's conduct, that, if any of them should be 
suspected of an act of frailty, she is compelled 
by the others to leave the place. The ma- 
nager of one of these factories assured me that 
the police established among themselves is so 
severe, that, when several years ago, a young- 
woman, whose previous life had been objec- 
tionable, was admitted into the factory, they 
unanimously insisted on her expulsion. It 
was of no use to tell them that the accused 
now conducted herself with propriety : it was 
enough that she had once been frail. She 
was accordingly discharged, to prevent the 
possibility of a revolution in this republic of 

When the President visited Lowell about 
this period, he was received with great pomp 
by the factory girls, who determined to hail 
his arrival in a distinguished manner. Dressed 
in white, with coloured sashes and bare heads, 
and provided with parasols, they went in pro- 
cession to meet him, preceded by their respec- 
tive ensign-bearers. The sight must indeed 
have been singular and imposing. The Presi- 
dent no doubt felt proud of such a reception, 
for it is not the good fortune of every ruler to 
pass through a line of young girls a mile 


in length. Each of these Lowell belles ad- 
vanced five dollars towards the formation of 
a general fund for buying* articles requisite 
to enhance the splendour of the ceremony. 
In Boston, as well as in York, sashes and 
parasols of every possible colour were ea- 
gerly bought up, so that the ladies com- 
plained bitterly for two months afterwards 
of being left destitute of these necessary 
attributes of costume. 

On my return to New York, I found the 
w hole city in a state of uproar bordering on 
confusion, on account of the celebration of the 
4th of July. All offices and shops were closed, 
and the lower classes of people seemed dis- 
posed to have a frolic. The militia paraded 
the streets, to the great gratification of the 
curious ; and the discharge of crackers and 
of different species of fire-arms filled the 
whole atmosphere with smoke. Quarrelling, 
fighting, and a few accidents, were to be ex- 
pected from a crowd left to its own discre- 
tion, and determined to enjoy this, almost the 
only national festivity in America. In justice, 
however, it should be stated that, taking the 
whole mass together, they behaved very peace- 

The following day was celebrated by the 


Negroes, being the anniversary of their eman- 
cipation in the State of New York. A pro- 
cession of Blacks, accompanied by a band of 
music, passed through the principal streets. 
On the flanks of this procession, rode Negroes 
dressed in white, with epaulettes, sword, and 
cocked hat. The whole was a perfect farce. 
The evening concluded with a grand ball, 
exclusively patronised by the sable population. 


La plupart des grandes decouvertes ont commence par paioitre 
absurdes, et I'homme de genie ne fera jamais rien s'ilapeur des 

De Stael Holstein. 

It was a fine summer's day when I again 
quitted New York, to commence my journey 
through the northern and western parts of 
the State, and at the same time to visit the 
English possessions in Canada. The sun 
was scorching, but refreshing westerly winds 
cooled the air, and made the trip up the 
beautiful Hudson one of the most agreeable 
I had taken during my residence in America. 
Never did the naked walls of Palisades 
appear to me so high and perpendicular ; 
never had I seen the sloping banks so rich 
and luxuriant, covered as they were with thick 
woods and verdant fields ; never had the 
highlands appeared so imposing. The stream 
was enlivened by innumerable sloops, boats, 


and vessels, and steamers passed each other 
in rapid succession ; every thing- breathed 
life, and joy, and summer. 

The river has a very different appearance 
beyond the small town of Hudson up to 
Albany, from that which it exhibits southward 
of that place. The banks seem almost to 
invade the mighty stream; islands, shoals, 
and heaps of stones, have done their utmost 
to arrest the progress of the water. The 
country on both sides is plain and highly 
cultivated. Cottages and country-seats were 
seen in every direction. 

After a trip of eleven hours, I arrived at 
Albany, a distance of one hundred and forty- 
five English miles : I have been assured that 
it has been performed in ten, averaging about 
fourteen miles and a half an hour. Could 
I but one day be permitted to awake Fulton 
from his slumber, and show him what steamers 
now navigate the Hudson, how astonished 
would he be! How incredulously would he 
shake his head, on being told that a steamboat 
may at present perform a distance of one 
hundred and forty-five miles in the short 
period of ten hours, including stoppages! 
He would still recollect the day, when weeks, 
yea, months, were required for this journey ; 


and even after his application of steam as a 
propelling power for boats, it took as many 
days as now hours to proceed from New 
York to Albany. The following anecdote 
shows what extraordinary improvements have 
been made on steam-engines since Fulton's 

When steamboats, contrary to the opinion 
of reasonable and unreasonable persons, were 
found, to the great satisfaction of Fulton, 
to answer the purpose, the general ridicule 
at first bestowed on the invention was sud- 
denly changed into the warmest enthusiasm. 
Several steamboats were put in motion on the 
river, and competition followed in those times 
as well as in ours. One of the steamers is 
stated to have one night encountered a real 
London fog (who has not heard of a November 
fog in London ?) The captain discerned, how- 
ever, in the dark, a dim light, which made 
him come to the natural conclusion that it 
proceeded from another steamboat. He looked 
at it stedfastly for a long time ; at length he 
thought it neared him ; and, convinced that 
it was in reality another steamboat, wishing 
to run a race with his, he encouraged his men 
to increase the fires and raise the steam. 
Anxious as to the result, he could not be per- 


suaded to retire to rest for a moment : he 
narrowly watched the light, which at times 
appeared to gain upon him, and again seemed 
to be distanced, and when the former was the 
case, he was heard addressing the engineers : 
" Go on, boys I don't spare fuel ! more steam !" 
At length morning arrived, and the fog began 
gradually to disperse. The impatience of 
the captain may easily be imagined to look 
his antagonist in the face, and by a single 
glance to crush his audacity at once. He 
was so agitated, that he could not remain 
stationary for a moment, but ran up and 
down deck, now standing on tiptoe, then 
stooping to look through some aperture be- 
tween the dispersing vapours. With a tre- 
mendous oath in his mouth, he was ready to 
launch execrations at his competitor ; fire and 
flame issued from his sharp eyes. *' He will 
overtake us! He is close upon us!" re- 
sounded from several of the spectators. The 
sailors ran from stem to stern, and back 
again. The furnaces were filled with more 
fuel than prudence dictated for the safety of 
the boilers. The paddles went round with 
more velocity than the wheels of a French 
stage going up hill. Confusion and perplexity 
reigned on board. Une would almost have 

VOL. II. s 

258 ALBANY. 

believed that a privateer was in sight. But, 
instead of a strange vessel or any antagonist, 
what was visible when the fog dispersed ? 
The light, which in the dark had been supposed 
to proceed from another steamboat, and had 
caused so much uneasiness, was only a lantern 
on shore. So weak was the power as yet on 
board steamers, that it was a hard task to 
maintain the same position against the cur- 
rent, and not to lose ground ! 

Albany is the capital of the State of New 
York, and looks upon itself as the first city, 
although, in point of wealth, population, and 
commerce, it has but a secondary rank. 
Next to Jamestown, in Virginia, it is the 
oldest city in the Union, and dates its origin 
from 1612. The Dutch, who first settled 
here, could scarcely have selected the spot on 
account of the fertility of the soil, which in 
this neighbourhood consists chiefly of sand. 
Their plan was to have a point suitable for 
trade with the Indians, and a better selection 
they could scarcely have made. Albany has, 
at all times, been a thriving place ; and even 
at this day, although obliged to yield the 
palm to New York, as the first in the State, 
it still retains with pride recollections of its 
antiquity, and boasts also of its wealth. 

ALBANY. 259 

which would have appeared to greater ad- 
vantage had the situation been more distant 
from New York, a city that carries every 
thing- before it. Its locality, close to the 
Hudson, and at the mouth of the Erie Canal, 
as well as at the beginning of the railroad 
between Mohawk and Hudson, renders it one 
of the most important places in the Northern 
States. Very large sums are in consequence 
circulated in the town : the produce of the 
West and East, as well as goods from 
Europe, pay a transit duty, which is not in- 
considerable when we take into account the 
immense tract of land situated west of it, 
that must send and receive every thing 
through this city. When to this is added 
the facility afforded by the canal and the 
railroad to the transport of goods, it cannot 
be matter of wonder that Albany should be 
in a thriving condition. 

The appearance of the city fully confirms 
its flourishing state. While shops of every 
kind meet the eye, and the bustle charac- 
teristic of Americans is perceptible every 
where, parts of the city are found, which 
remind you of some of the finest towns in 
Europe. That street, in particular, which 
goes by the name of State Street, and ascends 

S 2 

260 ALBANY. 

a hill not far from the river up to the Capitol, 
a building' not destitute of taste, where the 
Legislature, as well as the Tribunals, hold 
their sittings, is wider than any street I have 
seen in America, and produces a very striking 
effect. Of all the buildings, however, the 
City Hall is the handsomest : it is upon the 
same elevation as the Capitol, on one side of 
a square, to which a third edifice, the Aca- 
demy, forms another ornament. It is built 
of white marble, and has a dome, which, like 
St. Peter's at Rome, and St. Paul's in Lon- 
don, is visible at a great distance. 

Albany still possesses many of the old 
families: that of Yan Rensselaer, for in- 
stance, traces back its ancestry to a period 
anterior to the foundation of the city ; and to 
this day a respectable member of it retains 
the title of Patroon, an old Dutch word, 
equivalent to our *' master." This distinc- 
tion, however, has produced this effect, that 
the ton of the inhabitants is more aristocratic, 
and their manners are more addicted to cere- 
mony and etiquette, than in any other parts of 
the country. I often fancied that I recognised 
those stiff yet venerable personages, so hap- 
pily described by Washington Irving in 
Knickerbocker's History of New York : and 


I really met an individual so completely 
answering the description of a fat, substan- 
tial, smoking', and half-sleeping Dutch settler, 
that 1 could not help bursting out into a most 
hearty fit of laughter. 

From Albany I proceeded to Saratoga 
springs, a distance of about thirty-six miles 
and a half, performed on the railroad in little 
more than three hours. This railroad belongs 
to two companies : one called The Mohawk 
and Hudson Company, the other The Sa- 
ratoga and Schenectady Company, both 
formed since 1830. The first, whose object is 
to unite the two rivers, had many difficulties 
to surmount, and has embarked a very large 
capital in the undertaking; but, notwithstand- 
ing this, the shares were a great deal above 
par. Although the Erie Canal goes as far as 
the Hudson, with which it forms a junction 
at Albany, still the communication by the 
railroad between this city and Schenectady 
is so active, that the cars, generally loaded, 
run almost every hour of the day. In a few 
years, when railroads will be made from Sara- 
toga to Whitehall, on Lake Champlain, this 
will probably be the most frequented route to 
Canada ; and, in a country where travelling 
is so much in vogue, these companies may 


fondly anticipate success from future opera- 

In no country in the world are there so 
many railroads as in America ; their number 
is daily increasing to such a degree, that, 
within the ordinary period of a man's life, 
they w ill be more numerous than in all other 
parts of the globe put together. Since my 
arrival in the country, I have counted at least 
a dozen which have been partly begun, partly 
opened for conveyance, not one less than 
fifteen miles in length, and the greater part 
exceeding fifty miles. Large sums have thus 
been invested by private capitalists for promo- 
ting the public good ; and although here, as in 
other places, the expences generally exceed 
the original estimate by fifty per cent., yet 
speculators are always ready to take shares. 
It seldom happens that a company cannot be 
formed for want of subscribers : I found that, 
in most cases, shares were taken in a shorter 
period than we in Europe take to consider, 
or to sign our names. This does not exclusively 
apply to railroads, but also to banks, canals, 
and all possible undertakings. Money is gene- 
rally so abundant, that most proposals are 
listened to with a view to make a profit. In 
this manner have the United States, within a 


few years, derived more internal improve- 
ments from the speculations of private indi- 
viduals, than if the whole had been left to 
Government. It is almost incredible, yet 
true, that when the railroads between Boston 
and Providence, and Baltimore and Wash- 
ington, are finished, which will not take many 
months, one may travel from Maine to Vir- 
ginia by steam, that is, by steamboats and 
steam carriages, a distance of above seven 
hundred miles, in sixty-five or sixty-seven 
hours. Many of the present generation will 
perhaps live to see the day when railroads 
will be made from Virginia, through North 
and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, 
to New Orleans, thus uniting Maine and 

Government never interferes in private un- 
dertakings of this kind, which are open to 
every one. When a company is formed, it 
only makes an application to the Legislature 
of the State in which the enterprise is to be 
carried into effect. If it is considered useful 
by the members of both Houses, or at least 
not prejudicial to the public, permission is 
granted, and an act passed incorporating the 
company. They have now no impediments 
to encounter, but may buy land wherever 
they please, of course at a cheap rate. Rail- 


roads and canals often traverse orchards and 
parks belonging- to wealthy individuals, who 
dare not resist, because '' the public benefits 
by it," and patriotism requires that private 
convenience should give way to the public good. 

Many complaints have arisen on account of 
the privilege thus granted to private persons 
to tax travellers ; but this prerogative is seldom 
abused. If that should happen to be the case, 
the abuse cannot last long ; for another com- 
pany soon starts in opposition, and the conse- 
quence is, that one or both generally fail. 
At all events, the public is always benefited 
by the competition ; even if both can be sup- 
ported, prices are lowered, otherwise the com- 
pany which charges the least is patronized, 
the other is abandoned to its fate, and dies a 
natural death. In no country have I seen the 
spirit of competition carried so far as in Ame- 
rica. I remember once travelling one hun- 
dred miles in a stage for one dollar, whereas 
the expence was generally seven dollars. 
Upon another occasion, I took a trip of forty- 
four English miles by a steamboat for twelve 
cents and a half, and was thanked by the 
captain into the bargain : the usual charge 
was one dollar and a half. 

The railroads, which were partly finished, 
partly in progress at the time when I visited 



the United States, were as follows. I have 
marked the length of them, to show the im- 
mense distance that each of them traverses, 
or will have to pass : 

Baltimore and Ohio (from Baltimore to Pittsbur*^) . 

Massachusetts (from Boston to Albany) ... 

Catskill to Ithaca (State of New York) . 

Charleston to Hamburg (South Carolina) 

Boston and Brattleboro (Massachusetts and Vermont) 

Albany and New York 

Columbia and Philadelphia (from Philadelphia to York 

Lexington and Ohio (from Lexington to Cincinnati) 
Camden and Amboy (New Jersey) 
Baltimore and Susquehanna (Maryland) 
Boston and Providence (Massachusetts and Rhode Island) 
Trenton and Philadelphia . . about 

Providence and Stonington 
Baltimore and Washington 
Hollidaysburg and Johnstown (^Pennsylvania) 
Ithaca and Oswego (New York) 
Hudson and Berkshire (New York and Massachusetts) 
Elizabeth and Somerville (New Jersey) 
Boston and Lowell (Massachusetts) . . about 

Schenectady and Saratoga (New Y^ork) 
Mohawk and Hudson (New York) 
Lacka waxen (from Honesdale to Carbondale, Pennsylvania) 
Frenchtown to Newcastle (Delaware and Maryland) 
Philadelphia and Norristown (Pennsylvania) 
Richmond and Chesterfield (Virginia) . 
Manch Cliunck (Pennsylvania) 
Haerlem (from New York to Haerlem) 
Quincy (from Boston to Quincy) 
New Orleans (from Lake Poutchar train to New Orleans) 




The extent of all these railroads forms an 
aggregate of one thousand seven hundred and 


fifty miles. Ten years hence, this amount of 
miles will probably be doubled or trebled, so 
that scarcely any other roads will be used 
than those on which steam carriages may 

But let us return to the railroad between 
Albany and Schenectady. It commences in 
the middle of the city, close to the Hudson 
River, and ascends the eminence on which the 
Capitol stands, with an inclination of one foot 
in eighteen, until you reach the summit, which 
is one hundred and eighty-five feet above the 
level of the water. The gradual descent con- 
tinues afterwards for several miles, but only 
in the proportion of one in two hundred and 
twenty-five feet; and, after having ascended 
subsequently, almost imperceptibly, you ar- 
rive at last at the elevation near Schenectady, 
three hundred and thirty-five feet above the 

The country, hitherto destitute of interest, 
excepting what it derives now and then from 
a well cultivated farm, and exhibiting only 
deserts of sand, now assumed a different ap- 
pearance. The most smiling landscape pre- 
sented itself to the eye : the immense Erie 
Canal wound through luxuriant prairies, 
fields, and groves, and boats were drawn in 


rapid succession by trotting horses on each 
side. Schenectady, with its University, Union 
College (annually attended by about two 
hundred students), and the beautiful and 
wide Mohawk River, which runs through the 
town, contributed not a little to enhance the 
beauty of the picture. At a distance, enve- 
loped in a dark mist, appeared a chain of 
mountains, which, if I mistake not, was called 
Heidelberg, but is in fact only a continuation 
of the Catskill Mountains. The declivity from 
this elevation to the canal is about one hun- 
dred and fifteen feet, and very steep, so that 
it would be impossible to descend without the 
assistance of some counterbalance, checking 
the velocity of the carriage. This has been 
provided for by the agency of a steam-engine, 
which sets in motion a horizontal wheel, 
round which runs a strong rope. One end of 
this rope was fastened to our coach, and the 
other again to a waggon filled with stones, 
which ran on a railroad close to that on which 
we were travelling. The ropes ran on iron 
pulleys, placed in the middle of the roads at 
certain distances from each other. As soon 
as the engine was put in motion, our coach 
took a sudden start down the steep railroad, 
although not propelled either by horses or by 


steam, without driver or engineer. We met 
half way the solitary waggon, loaded with 
stone, which ascended the hill with the same 
velocity that we descended ; and our coach, 
when arrived at the foot of the elevation, 
stopped immediately. We were then in 

Without making any stay, I moved at once 
from one coach to another, and set off on the 
just-finished railroad to Saratoga. The coun- 
try through which it passes consists almost 
exclusively of sand, which renders this trip 
less pleasant and varied than the former ; but, 
although five miles longer than that from 
Albany to Schenectady, it cost the company 
less than the other. According to statements 
shown to me, the Mohawk and Hudson rail- 
road is said to have cost not less than from 
eight to nine hundred thousand dollars ; 
whereas, that to Saratoga was completed at 
an expence not exceeding two hundred and 
seventy thousand dollars. The shares of the 
former were, nevertheless, lower than those 
of the latter. In the course of the three sum- 
mer months, June, July, and August, no 
fewer than thirty thousand five hundred and 
sixty-five persons travelled on the railroad 
between Saratoga and Schenectady. 


About six miles from Saratoga is Ballston 
Spa, a village, like Saratoga, known only for 
the properties of its waters, which are highly 
beneficial in many complaints. The place 
itself has nothing attractive, but is in my 
opinion far superior to Saratoga. The en- 
virons of both places consist of nothing but 
plains and hills of sand, producing a scanty 
crop between dark pine trees, the only produc- 
tions of the vegetable kingdom which appeared 
to thrive in that soil. Saratoga has, neverthe- 
less, on account of the preference and patron- 
age given to it by the capricious goddess 
Fashion, acquired such celebrity, that many 
are found who certainly have heard of the 
name of Ballston, but know nothing about 
the place itself. 

At these watering places there are several 
hotels, whose charges vary according to the 
prevalence of fashion and the class of visiters. 
Hence arises a certain distance between the 
guests, who seldom associate except with 
boarders living in the same hotel. Here, 
more than elsewhere, may be discovered the 
distinction that really prevails among persons 
of different classes in America. I heard, for 
instance, on various occasions, individuals, 
boarding at the fashionable Congress Hall, 


speak of those who had taken up their quar- 
ters at the Union, or United States Hotel, 
in a way which clearly indicated their own 
presumed superiority in point of rank. This 
aristocratic tendency in Republican States 
may be condemned or not ; certain it is, that 
exorbitant prices, combined with a ridiculous 
extravagance in dress, have jointly succeeded in 
causing' Congress Hall hotel to be frequented 
by the first company in the Union. In the 
month of August, in particular, people resort 
to it from the South and from the North ; all 
who can lay claim to beauty, genius, and 
talents, are to be found here. They do not 
repair hither for the sake of health — far 
from it. Their sparkling eyes and smiling 
faces prove that they do not labour under 
great infirmity. Those who, unfortunately, 
are real invalids, take up their residence at 
more quiet hotels, seldom mingling with those 
who are in possession of good health. Most 
of the individuals here met with say that 
*' they come to drink the water," that is, 
to " take a glass every other day." Their 
particular object is amusement, and to kill 
time in every possible way. When such visiters 
arrive at a watering place, extravagance, as 
a matter of course, reaches its climax, and 


they try to surpass each other in expendi- 

The fair sex have here a fine opportunity 
of displaying- their taste and elegance in dress. 
I shall not venture to advert to the studied 
cut of the coats and waistcoats of the beaux, 
fashioned as they are after the last patterns 
from London or Paris. The most fashiona- 
ble ladies have a peculiar dress, adapted for 
the process of drinking the water, a kind of 
demi-negUge, another for the ceremony of 
breakfast, a third for the recreation of riding 
or driving, a fourth for display at dinner, and 
a fifth and last for exhibition at a concert or 
ball in the evening, which concludes the day. 
Health appears to be the last consideration. 
On rising in the morning, the prevailing rule 
is to devote the whole day to eating, sleeping, 
and the display of dress ; and when evening, 
or rather midnight, arrives, they retire to rest, 
satisfied with having got over an agreeable 
soiree — young ladies dreaming of the con- 
quests they fancy they have made, and which 
they calculate will be followed up by a matri- 
monial alliance in the ensuing winter; young- 
dandies, again, delighted with the figure they 
have made, and some chance witticisms which 
they have uttered, and which have been 


graciously and smilingly received by the 

But, before we bid adieu to Saratoga, let 
us once more visit the springs, and take a 
review of those who drink the " wholesome 
waters." Who is that handsome lady, who, 
with rosy cheeks, approaches the iron railing 
near the spring, and with a feeble voice asks 
the little boy standing inside for a glass of 
water ? She is from New York, having visited 
Saratoga four successive years, to get cured of 
an inward disease which no person can define, 
and which, strange enough, every year shows 
itself in different forms and symptoms. What 
extraordinary and beneficial effect the water 
has upon her! In the fall, she resumes all 
the frivolities and pleasures of the city, dan- 
cing, and happy; for she has already given 
her heart to a swain, who has promised, before 
the end of winter, to offer her his hand. Not 
far from her stands a man in the prime of 
life, with a goblet to his mouth : he is pale, 
but it is not a sickly paleness ; he is silent, 
but it is not suffering that imposes this silence. 
With what delight does he drink the brackish 
water! with what devotion does he empty the 
last drop ! He appears almost to bless the 
water, that gift of Heaven, and at last takes 


his departure to a neighbouring field, the re- 
sort of cattle and musquitoes, to ruminate 
and philosophize. He is one of the ''cold, 
watery, fish-blooded young* men, incapable of 
a glass or two,"* wiio, foolishly enough, 
either from want of means, or in consequence 
of a debilitated constitution, has joined an 
excellent society, which drinks nothing but 
water, and wages war against wine and brandy. 
How he enjoys it, poor fellow, this ice-cold, 
clear, and medicinal beverage ! It is an in- 
structive lesson to contemplate his contented 
face. Are his philosophical ravings equally 
instructive ? Know that the individual is a 
genius, who has written many romances, 
which have been printed and admired by 
contemporary authors. 

This bustling, noisy, and talkative man, 
who makes wry faces at every drop he seems 
to force down — who is he? Philadelphia is 
his birthplace, and in New York he has 
received the rudiments of his education — a 
perfect fool ! None is a better judge of a bad 
tragedy, or a vapid novel ; and none can 
excel him in the knowledge of the history, 
qualities, and fortune, of every lady. He 
pretends to labour under some serious infir- 

• Vide '' Crayon Sketches, by an Amateur," vol, i. p. G5. 


mity, and tells every young lady, smilingly, 
that his disease consists in continual heart- 
aches, in an enlargement of the heart. He 
says that he has only one enemy in the world, 
which is morning, always coming too early, 
and on which, before rising from bed, he in- 
variably bestows a certain quantity of invec- 
tives. That the waters have very little effect 
on his constitution is not matter of surprise, 
as he never takes more than one glass imme- 
diately after a hearty breakfast. He com- 
plains of being poorly. 

But who is that original, who, despising 
water, always appears with a glass of ju- 
lep,'* swearing at every thing, so as to 
frighten the old ladies ? Born in the South, 
he has from infancy been accustomed to 
be attended by slaves, and forgets himself 
every moment, thinking that all the free 
and independent servants in the house are 
slaves, who ought to understand and obey 
his commands at the first signal. His 
dress is composed of summer trousers, in 
size resembling those of a Turk, and a 
jacket of the same stuff, the sleeves of which 

•Julep is a favourite beverage, particularly in Virginia, where 
it is as })alatable to women as to men, old and young. It is a 
compound of rum, ice-water, and mint ; is very cooling, and gene- 
rally taken in bed, before rising. 


are reg'ular bishop's sleeves. With a face 
covered with hair, he stares at the company, 
to the no small terror and annoyance of the 
ladies. A stick, cut out of an orange tree, 
and called the snake-killer, is likewise an ob- 
ject of such terror, that none of the fair sex 
dared approach him. He was, however, con- 
stantly surrounded by men, who discussed 
the favourite subject, "Nullification." Alone, 
he advocated the cause of South Carolina, 
with a warmth which compelled many of his 
opponents to give way, leaving the field to 
the champion of the South. But whither am 
I wandering ? A volume would hardly suffice 
to depict the different characters I had occa- 
sion to observe during a residence of a few 
days at Saratoga : but this is not my inten- 
tion ; therefore, peace be with them for the 
present ! 

The water at these springs contains a great 
proportion of soda and magnesia, mixed with 
chalk, iron, gas, and atmospheric air. This 
analysis has been made by a Doctor Steel, 
who has published a very interesting work 
on the subject. " The temperature of the 
water at all these springs," he remarks in his 
work, " is nearly the same, varying only from 
forty-eight to fifty-two degrees of Fahrenheit's 

T 2 


thermometer, and is subject to very little 
variation from the changes in the tempera- 
ture of the air. The different seasons seem 
to have hardly any effect on the quantity of 
water." Its j^roperty for various disorders, 
as, for instance, dyspepsia, so common in 
America, is questioned by none : on the con- 
trary, it is injurious in liver complaints and 
consumptions, and has, upon several occasions, 
when imprudently resorted to, accelerated the 
dissolution of the patient. 


*' Ja wohl, bin ich nur eiii Wanderer — eiii Waller auf der Erde !" 


On returning to Schenectady, I availed my- 
self of a canal-boat on the point of starting 
for Utica. These boats are generally very 
long, but low, in consequence of the many 
bridges thrown across the canal, beneath 
which they must pass. They are fitted up 
with two rooms, one inside the other, taking 
up the whole length of the boat, with small 
windows on the sides. The inner room be- 
longed exclusively to the ladies, and was con- 
sidered as a sanctuary into which the profane 
dared not set foot ; the outer one again was 
used both as a drawing, dining, and bed room 
for the gentlemen. When — as was the case 
now — the number of travellers exceeded 
thirty, and the majority belonged to the 
stronger sex, the prospect of remaining on 


board twenty-two hours was not very agree- 
able. It was impossible either to walk, to 
sit, or to lie. Moving about upon deck was 
out of the question, owing to the number of 
bridges beneath which w^e had to pass; at 
every passage it became necessary for the 
whole company to lie down flat, to avoid be- 
ing swept away by the beams of the bridge. 
As soon as we approached one, which hap- 
pened every five minutes, the steersman called 
out, ''Bridge!" and at the same instant the 
company fell prostrate. It was ludicrous for 
a while to take part in this manoeuvre ; in the 
long run, however, it became wearisome, and 
no other alternative was left but to go down, 
by way of change, into the close and narrow 

Night made our situation still more uncom- 
fortable. Although three tiers of beds, one 
above another, had been fitted up on the sides, 
their number proved insufficient ; the floor 
was covered with mattresses. Had I been 
permitted to select a sleeping place, I should 
unquestionably have preferred a mattress on 
the floor, for the beds on the sides were only 
slung by a cord to the top : had that given way 
the whole sleeping apparatus would have been 
precipitated to the ground ; and the conse- 


quences might have been serious, from the 
corpulence of some of the travellers. Un- 
fortunately, nearly all had the same idea as 
myself. The captain, a peaceable man, wish- 
ing* to accommodate every one, saw that it 
was not in his power to do so, except by 
drawing lots for the births. I drew my num- 
ber with a trembling hand, and behold ! it 
turned out to be one of the lowest beds on 
the side. The prospect now darkened indeed : 
to lie down, having two other births occupied 
by heavy inmates above, and only supported 
by small cords, was a prospect by no means 
enviable. But what was to be done ? I had 
no other chance but quietly to take my place, 
unless I chose to spend the night on deck ; 
and this was still more objectionable, owing to 
a heav y rain which continued till the following 
morning. I thought it prudent, however, to 
enter into a convention with the occupants 
of the upper regions, stipulating that they 
should remain quiet in their births, and that, 
if a change of position became absolutely 
necessary, they should inform me beforehand 
of their intention, to guard against the pos- 
sibility of accidents. Immediately above 
me lay a young man, who, by his reserved 
and strange behaviour, had already attracted 


my attention ; and above him rested an ex- 
cessively corpulent man, whose frame took up 
more room than was allotted to two. 

The beginning' of the night was rather aus- 
picious : I already felt reconciled to my un- 
pleasant situation, and amused myself by 
listening to the different sounds, from the 
finest tenor to the strongest bass, proceeding 
from the snoring gentry. A sudden thump 
against my side of the boat at length spread 
consternation among the travellers. The 
shock, occasioned by another craft coming 
too close to ours, was so violent, that the 
beams cracked, and the doors flew open. 
About a dozen sleeping individuals were pre- 
cipitated from the second and third tier on 
the unfortunate beings who were lying on the 
floor. One cord gave way after another. 
Snoring had ceased : lamentations filled the 
room. The ladies rushed in among us. All 
were running, ghoving against each other, 
swearing, and making a noise in the dark : 
confusion, in short, was at its height, until 
the captain had made a favourable report, 
which restored tranquillity. The births were 
soon re-occupied. The young man who was 
above me did not, however, return to his 
birth. r perceived that, without saying a 


word, he had gone on deck; and, as he did 
not come back, I followed, with a view to 
engage him in conversation. I found him 
wrapped in a cloak, seated on a trunk. His 
countenance appeared calm : it almost an- 
nounced an indifference for the whole world. 
It was with difficulty that I prevailed upon 
him to speak ; and not till I had made several 
ineffectual attempts did he at length give me 
the following biographic sketch of himself: 

*' I am son of one of the first settlers in the 
State of Missouri. I was brought up in the 
wilderness. My father was a real ' Back- 
woodsman,' not one of those lawless indivi- 
duals, expelled from civilized society, on 
whom the Atlantic States have conferred this 
title. No ; he was one of the mildest, most 
upright, most virtuous men, that this earth 
can produce. He had voluntarily emigrated 
to this part, for the purpose of cultivating a 
richer soil, and accumulating a little property, 
for the benefit of his children. His manners 
were, perhaps, rather blunt, but his roughness 
offended nobody. Dressed in a bear or deer- 
skin, with a knife in his bosom, a gun on his 
shoulder, and always accompanied by a 
couple of dogs, he had nothing in his appear- 
ance that prepossessed a stranger. But, if 


you visited his cot, in case of necessity, or ap- 
pealed to his generosity, his hospitality, he 
was not behindhand in assisting you. This 
is the picture," he added, " of my father, and 
of every real Backwoodsman. His planta- 
tion was about fifty miles from the small town 
St. Genevieve, on the river Mississippi, and 
consisted of a rather extensive tract of land, 
which he had cleared and cultivated himself, 
and raised to three-fold the original value. 
In a word, our family was happy, wealthy, 
and contented. 

"Not far from us was a settlement, occu- 
pied chiefly by a race of men who were 
neither Americans, French, nor Indians, but 
a mixture of the two latter, an amalgamation 
often met with in the Western States ; 
strange enough it is never the case between 
Americans and Indians. These men preserve 
none of their original native qualities, but 
have all theTaults, frailties, and vices, of both 
races. They are of a copper colour, exces- 
sively indolent, but easily offended ; and, their 
passions once excited, nothing is sacred to 
them. Their ideas of manly virtue and ele- 
vation of soul consist in making man a wild 
and impious being. The strongest champion 
is their idol, and the most horrible oath their 


admiration. One of these demi-savages — who 
stood, at that time, highest in their estima- 
tion, because he had always given but never 
received a blow — a giant, whose eyes only 
bespoke thirst for blood and murder, deter- 
mined one day to set fire to my father's wood. 
Impelledby a strong northerly wind, the flames 
spread in a few hours in all directions. To 
stop their progress was impossible : to prevent 
their reaching the dwelling-house was equally 
out of human power. Surrounded on all sides 
by the devouring element, my unfortunate 
parents fled from the spot, with their little 
children in their arms, over smoking moss, 
and between burning trees. Their escape 
was almost miraculous. My father, however, 
lost no time in arraigning the incendiary 
before the proper tribunal ; but, alas ! he had 
no proofs to adduce. Finding it impossible to 
obtain justice or redress, in a moment of rage 
he repaired to the residence of the suspected 
person, determined to take personal revenge. 
He found him at home. Too honourable 
to commit murder, my father challenged 
him, as is customary in the West. The chal- 
lenge was accepted. The place of meeting 
was fixed on a high ground, on the banks of 
the Mississippi, about sixty miles from the 


junction of this stream with the Ohio. The 
spot lies on the right shore, and rises, in the 
shape of a pyramid, about one hundred and 
fifty feet above the level of the water. It has 
been called the Tower. On its summit a 
few cedars are seen growing. Opposite to 
it, on the Illinois side, is a remarkable exca- 
vation in a rock, one hundred feet from the 
surface of the water : it goes by the name of 
the Devil's Oven. 

" Under the shade of these cedars, the two 
combatants met. Their rifles, which never 
yet had missed, were aimed at each other's 
breast. They fired, and for a moment the 
two duellists were enveloped in smoke. The 
echo resounded from rock to rock, and the 
silence of death again filled the valleys. My 
unhappy father was the only victim. The 
ball had pierced his heart. Lifeless he lay at 
the feet of his foe. An affected smile was 
seen on the lips of the conqueror; and, not 
satisfied with his deed, he added insult to in- 
jury, by throwing the corpse down the rock. 
Thus the bottom of the Mississippi became 
the sepulchre of virtue ; and — curses on the 
murderer! — the only dirge which was sung 
at the funeral of my father. 

** I was now fatherless — soon after I lost 


my mother. By the charity of a relation, I 
was sent far away from the murderous scene, 
and finished my education in one of the New 
England States. Nothing' could prevail on 
me to remain there long : an ardent desire to 
return to the West made me soon leave my 
benefactor. It seemed as if I could never 
rest till I had performed a pilgrimage to that 
spot where my father had fallen by the hand 
of the incendiary and the murderer. I have 
with pleasure accepted the appointment of 
missionary to regions on the other side of the 
Mississippi, and, thanks to God ! am now on 
my way thither." 

I asked him what his plans were for the fu- 
ture. " I will attend to my duty as a mission- 
ary," answered he. " 1 do not dread the future ; 
for a man cannot last long, suffering as I do." 

On finishing these words, he rose to conceal 
a few tears that were rolling down his cheeks, 
and proceeded to a corner in the fore-part of 
the boat, where he remained till we arrived at 
Utica. None dared disturb his deep medita- 
tions, nor would he have answered if spoken 
to. He appeared absorbed in thought, and 
continued, even after landing, in the same 
contemplative state. I tried several times to 
persuade him to stay a day at Utica, and 


afterwards proceed with me ; but my intrea- 
ties were vain — he was immoveable. After 
remaining' in town a few minutes, he took 
his passage on board a canal-boat bound to 
Buffalo. Since that time, it has been totally 
impossible either for me or any of the pas- 
sengers on board the boat to obtain intelli- 
gence of the fate of this unfortunate young- 

To travel by canal-boats is at all times a te- 
dious experiment. The country through which 
they pass seldom possesses any other variety 
than that offered by the locks, in lowering or 
raising the boats. Their progress, hardly 
perceptible, over the smooth surface, produces 
an inclination to sleep. The horses, which 
pull the boat, rarely go out of their usual 
trot. Even the steersman bore the general as- 
pect of drowsiness; he never opened his mouth, 
except when duty required him to call out, 
"Bridge!" An oath, although I abhor the 
practice, would at least have kept the eyes of 
the travellers open for a few minutes, fatigued 
as they were by heat and the great crowd. 
Of all the landscapes I had observed from 
canal-boats, this was, however, the least mo- 
notonous. In some places the scenery was 
truly picturesque. The canal, for many 


miles, wound through a small wood, on the 
side of a rising ground, at the foot of which 
lay a fertile and smiling valley, intersected 
by Mohawk river, at a short distance from 
w^hich the canal runs almost uninterrupt- 
edly. The stream is now and then con- 
cealed from sight ; but when it shows itself 
again, it is with redoubled beauty, amidst a 
picture of the richest and most cultivated 

At sunrise the following morning, we 
arrived at a place called Little Falls. Few 
spots in America are so romantic as this : it 
would be a subject of admiration even in Swit- 
zerland. A chain of the Catskill Mountains 
cuts straight through Mohawk river, which, 
arrested in its course, is obliged to seek a 
narrow passage over the ridge, from which it 
precipitates itself, roaring and foaming, into a 
stony valley. The first view I had of this 
wild scene was truly magnificent. A pro- 
jecting mountain prevented my seeing any 
thing until the boat was close to the Falls. 
On the left side was a huge wall, in appear- 
ance resembling one rock piled upon another. 
The rocks are here very singular, being al- 
most perpendicular, with uneven and smooth 
sides ; in the crevices, which are not incon- 


siderable, g-row a great quantity of trees of 
various kinds, which spread their rich branches 
over the apertures, and give a darker aspect 
to the whole. To the right again rushed, in 
wild confusion, between detached stones, the 
river, still foaming, after the Fall ; and, on the 
other side of it rose a w all of rocks, as sterile 
as that which follows the course of the canal. 
Before me appeared the five locks that raised 
the boat forty feet — further, the Fall itself, 
throug'h an excavation in the rock — the vil- 
lage of Little Falls, not far distant — and, 
finally, the aqueduct across the stream, a 
handsome and ornamental piece of workman- 

In the cool of the morning', the valley 
which I had traversed lay behind me ; there I 
could still discern fertile fields, orchards, and 
mansions. The water of the canal is here con- 
ducted over a wall, from twenty to thirty feet 
high, the foundation of which is kept con- 
stantly wet by the running- river. From the 
boat the eye may easily follow the straig'ht 
side of this wall down to the rocks, sur- 
rounded by foam. What a variety of sensa- 
tions crowd on the traveller ! It seems as if 
he were himself sailing in a mild and genial 
latitude, above the tempests and passions of 


the earth. He hears the noise behind the 
mountains like the roar of thunder. He dis- 
covers the spray arising- from the conflict be- 
tween the restless elements ; but it does not 
reach him. His soul is raised to regions 
which the pestiferous vapours of the earth 
seldom permit him to behold. He is a reno- 
vated being, with nobler sentiments, purer 
intentions, and loftier ideas. 

After having spent a few hours at this 
place, I continued my journey, and soon 
arrived at Long Level, a vast plain, sixty- 
nine miles and a half in length, which ex- 
tends as far as Salina, and is not interrupted 
by a single lock in the whole distance. It is 
the largest plain along the whole canal. 

Of all the States in the Union, none has 
more communications by water than New 
York. The country is so intersected by 
them, that there is scarcely a district, how- 
ever remote, that may not profit by the 
canals for the transport of produce to the 
great markets, such as Rochester, Utica, 
Albany, and New York. But, of all the 
canals, the great Erie Canal occupies the first 
place. It unites the waters of Lake Erie 
with those of the Hudson, is three hundred 
and sixty-three miles in length, and has 

VOL. II. u 


eighty-four locks, all constructed of granite. 
It begins at Albany, where it is five hundred 
and sixty-five feet lower than Lake Erie, and 
terminates at Buffalo. The elevation and 
decline from both extremities are altogether 
six hundred and ninety-eight feet. The canal 
is forty feet in width, and four feet deep. It 
is to the genius of the immortal de Witt 
Clinton, that New York is indebted for this 
national monument, conceived and completed 
by his activity and perseverance. It was 
begun on the 4th July, 1817, and finished 
in October, 1825. The State, which had un- 
dertaken the execution of this work, as well 
as a canal between Lake Champlain and 
Lake Erie,"*" incurred a debt of not less than 
ten million, two hundred and seven thousand, 
three hundred and twenty-eight dollars, of 
which nine million, twenty-seven thousand, 
four hundred and fifty-six dollars, five cents, 
were for the Erie Canal, or about twenty- 
three thousand nine hundred and sixty- 
one dollars for each mile. The annual ex- 
pence of keeping it in repair is very con- 
siderable, owing to its being constructed in 
too great a hurry, and sufficient attention not 
being paid to its solidity ; the revenue, never- 

* This canal is sixty-three miles in length. 

IJIKA 291 

theless, so much exceeds the expenditure, 
that, in the course of a few years, the whole 
debt will be liquidated. In the year 1822, 
when only portions of it were ready, the re- 
ceipt for tolls on goods forwarded on both 
canals amounted to forty-four thousand, four 
hundred and eighty-six dollars, seventy-two 
cents : in the year 1832, it had risen to 
one million, one hundred and ninety-five 
thousand, eight hundred and four dollars, 
twenty-nine cents. The goods principally 
sent by this conveyance were, according to a 
statement furnished me, timber, staves, flour, 
wheat, butter, stone, iron, and ashes. 

The day after my departure from Schenec- 
tady, I arrived at Utica, a small but flou- 
rishing town, situated near the canal. New 
houses spring up every day, and the wide 
streets, constantly filled with loaded wag- 
gons, prove unequivocally the prosperity of 
the place. In a description lately published 
of the Falls of Trenton, the immortal author 
gives the following picture of Utica : " The 
great thoroughfare of this region, an internal 
emporium of business, with a population of 
cultivated minds and courteous manners !*" 
The town has received a considerable acces- 

• Vide " Description of Trenton Falls," by J. Slierman, p. 3. 

U 2 


sion in population, and, for a while, contested 
with Rochester the supremacy among new 
places on the canal, but it has now ceded the 
palm to its rival. In the year 1813, it counted 
only one thousand seven hundred inhabitants ; 
in 1830, eight thousand three hundred and 

Fifteen miles from this place are the cele- 
brated Trenton Falls. The road leading 
thither, although short, is one of the worst in 
America. A traveller who is fortunate enough 
to arrive in safety at the place of his destina- 
tion, without having been upset, or his car- 
riage having stuck fast in bottomless mud- 
holes, is ungrateful indeed if he does not 
thank his lucky stars. Several parties vi- 
sited the Falls at the same time that 1 did. 
Their broken vehicles and begrimed faces 
fully confirmed the general opinion entertain- 
ed of the danger and unpleasantness of pro- 
ceeding by this route. 

The Falls of Trenton are situated on a 
river called West Canada Creek, about 
twenty-three miles from its junction with 
Mohawk River. The number of Falls amounts 
to six, besides several small divisions, which, 
separately taken, would form Falls of them- 
selves. The distance between the uppermost 


and the lowest is about two miles ; but, if the 
descent from the upper to that below, called 
the Conrad Fall, is taken into account, it 
will be found that the whole range of Falls 
in the river include an extent of not less than 
five miles, and are altogether three hundred 
and eighty-seven feet in elevation. 

From the hotel is a pathway through a 
small close wood, leading to steps on the side 
of a steep rock, about one hundred feet from 
the surface of the water in the valley below. 
The banks have a most imposing appearance. 
They consist of two almost perpendicular 
rocks, about one hundred feet high, which 
confine the stream within a very narrow com- 
pass. What a grand and majestic coup (Vceil 
presents itself to the visiter from the lower 
part of this valley ! The two rock- walls, 
which appear to surround the place on all 
sides, without leaving an outlet, seem to sepa- 
rate man from the world. The trees, which 
grow on the summit, are tinged by the beams 
of the sun ; but the sun itself does not penetrate 
to the regions below. The shade involves all 
objects in faint darkness. Thunder shakes 
even the foundation of the earth ; and the 
stream meanders tremblingly between frag- 
ments of disjointed rocks and suspended 


branches, and is gone one knows not whither. 
On millions of petrified animals the stranger 
now directs his steps ; his contemplations 
recall the times when these species of animated 
nature were as full of life and motion as him- 
self. A trifle is sufficient to reduce him to 
that state of insensibility in which they now 
are. A slippery piece of rock or a leaf is all 
that is required to frustrate plans, schemes of 
ambition, and pride. Poor man, how insig- 
nificant art thou ! 

A small and crooked pathway, in some 
places formed by nature, in others carved out 
of the solid rock, led me to a Fall, which g'oes 
by the name of Sherman's. It is thirty-three 
feet high, and formed at this period, in conse- 
quence of continual rains, a single undivided 
stream from one shore to the other. Below 
the Fall, the water appeared to draw off a 
little to the left, but only to receive addi- 
tional impulse, and dash its foaming waves 
against projecting rocks rising on the right. 
Beyond these, it rudely seeks an issue from 
the valley. 

Above this Fall the stream has collected 
great masses of stones, which, heaped one 
upon another, form in the middle of the water 
a kind of tower, ready to crumble whenever 


the mass of water shall become too powerful. 
At the distance of a few paces, a fine view of 
the other large Fall presents itself. It has 
three different divisions, altogether about 
one hundi-ed feet. A bare rock, from which 
fragments are annually broken off, is the wall 
over which the stream seeks the valley. The 
undermining of the water on one side of it 
is stated to be so considerable, that the eye 
can easily discern the effect produced in a 
short time. The w^estern corner is the point 
particularly attacked : here the re-action of 
the waves has undermined the walls, and 
formed a circular excavation, about ten feet 
in diameter. Close to this, I climbed up the 
rock, and found myself in a parallel direction 
with the stream, exactly above the excava- 
tion, whence issued steam as from a boiling- 
kettle. The sunshine gave it a magic effect, 
heightened as it was by the contrast with the 
surrounding landscape. Here cedars bend 
their heavy branches over the foaming stream 
— there piles of stones defy the power of the 
waves. Here again smiles a verdant hill — 
there roars the waterfall. Here a few scat- 
tered and diminutive bushes are kept in a 
constant state of humidity — on the summit 
of the rocks, again, sun-burnt trees struggle 


with death. This is, in my opinion, the finest 
Fall at Trenton. 

A few yards above it, a small cot has 
been built, as a retreat and resting place for 
strangers, as well as a spot for the sale of 
crystals and petrifactions to amateurs of 
mineralogy. I found there several parties, who 
were enjoying the fine prospect of the Falls, 
and bargaining with the vender of the mine- 
rals for the lowest price : the stones were all 
in imitation of diamonds. Alone at a table 
sat a young man, whose clothes were dripping- 
wet ; he had shortly before taken the same 
walk that I did, but unfortunately made a 
false step, and fallen into the river, about ten 
yards above one of the higher Falls. By sin- 
gular good fortune, he floated against a heap 
of stones on the verge of the precipice itself, 
and was thus saved, to the no small surprise 
of every one present. To restore heat after 
so extraordinary a bath, he now had recourse 
to the tankard, and held it unremittingly to 
his lips, laughing at the incident, as if the 
whole had been a farce. The expression of 
his looks and the paleness of his cheeks 
were, however, little in harmony with this 
assumed indifference to life. 

The other Falls exhibited a feature different 

GENEVA. 297 

from that which 1 have just been describing. 
The locality was not so confined as before, 
but lost, at the same time, that wild appearance 
which had so much charmed me in the others. 
Fearful of losing- the impression already pro- 
duced by the sight of the first Falls, I stopped 
short, and returned to the hotel, delighted, 
yes, highly delighted, with the scene which 
I had been contemplating. 

I started on the following morning from 
Utica for Auburn. The road passed through 
the small towns of New Hertford, Manchester, 
Vernon, Oneida, Lenox, Chitteningo, and Syra- 
cuse. All bore the stamp of youth and activity ; 
but the last, in particular, appeared most 
flourishing, owing to the salt mines situate in 
the immediate vicinity. The annual amount 
of the article made in these parts is not less 
than one million and a half of bushels. 

At Auburn I remained only time enough 
to visit the prison, of which I have already 
spoken in another place, and then continued 
my journey through a fine and well-cultivated 
country, to Geneva and Canandaigua, two 
villages celebrated for their neatness and 
beauty, and which might serve as models for 
any other. The first is situated on a declivity 
near the north end of Seneca Lake, and fol- 


lows the course of the left shore for nearly a 
mile. The prospect over the calm surface of 
the waters, surrounded by lofty mountains 
rising on both sides of the oblong lake, is 
truly magnificent. I know not exactly whe- 
ther it was the similarity of name that excited 
my imagination, or the fineness of a sum- 
mer's evening, full of freshness and varied 
shades, that recalled to my memory the ap- 
pearance of a lake in Switzerland : this I know, 
that American Geneva is one of those spots 
on earth where even a person fond of town- 
life would delight to reside. 

Canandaigua is also situated at the extre- 
mity of a lake bearing its name. The streets 
are laid out in straight lines towards the 
lake, and are embellished by white-painted 
houses, orchards, walks, and terraces. Many 
are built in so good and pure a taste, that 
they would prove ornamental to any town 
whatever. I cannot deny that, upon various 
subsequent occasions, I not unfrequently 
wished to get a sight of these fine wooden 
buildings, as a relief to the monotony of red 
brick houses, invariably found in every Ame- 
rican town. Like Geneva, Canandaigua is 
not so much a commercial place, as a town 
where wealthy persons take up their resi- 


dence, for the purpose of enjoying- a quiet 
life. Society has gradually imbibed the in- 
fluence of this taste for repose. Neither gos- 
sip nor scandal, so usual in petty towns, was 
current here ; no calculations heard as to a 
rise or decline in cotton were heard ; political 
contentions and intemperate debates were 
also excluded. Every one took care of his 
own house without interfering in the affairs 
of his neighbour. Hospitality prevailed every 
where ; the stranger was always welcome. 
General wealth, and satisfaction derived from 
a consciousness that speculation w^as not the 
origin of acquired property, imprinted on 
every countenance a serenity, a degree of con- 
tent, vainly looked for in New York, and 
which may otherwise be said to be one of the 
peculiarities of the New World. It is a town 
without being a town, possessing all the plea- 
sures and varieties of country, without its 
solitude. What more can be desired ? 

Rochester, a town already full-grown, 
though but yet in its infancy, which twenty 
years ago did not exist, but now counts a 
population of more than thirteen thousand 
inhabitants, may very properly be called one 
of the prodigies of the country. The situa- 
tion is so very favourable, that the produce 


of the West, as well as of the Atlantic vStates, 
is brought hither in transit ; and, from the 
vicinity of Lake Ontario, to which Genesee 
River runs from the town, the inhabitants 
have the advantage of being able to choose 
the most advantageous markets, such as 
Quebec, New York, or towns situated on 
the western lakes. Flour is the principal 
article of exportation, of which very large 
quantities are made. A single mill produces 
from four to five hundred barrels a day : by 
additional exertion, it might even yield six 
hundred, a larger quantity than any other 
mill in the United States. These mills, as 
well as those adapted for sawing planks, are 
worked with facility and great economy of 
manual labour, by the abundance of water — 
a source of great wealth to Rochester. Be- 
sides the River Genesee, which, as I have said 
before, runs through the town, the Erie Canal 
also traverses it, crossing the stream by an 
aqueduct, eight hundred and four feet in 

The inhabitants are chiefly Presbyterians 
— a sect distinguished by the strict observ- 
ance of their tenets and regularity of conduct. 
Their self-denial, in many instances, borders 
upon pedantry, and will, if persevered in, 


lead to the dissolution of the system. A Pres- 
byterian condemns all other sectarians, and 
believes that their souls cannot be saved ; he 
goes farther, he even prays for them. To 
fail of attending- service is considered a hei- 
nous offence, which can only obtain pardon 
by long repentance and the intercession of 
others. " 1 had once the misfortune to be 
absent from church during two consecutive 
services," said a man of liberal sentiments to 
me who was settled at Rochester. *' On the 
following Sunday, I was not a little surprised 
to hear the whole congregation pray for the 
salvation of my soul." This is certainly car- 
rying fanaticism to a great length. From one 
pulpit, execrations are fulminated on the con- 
gregation assembled in the next church. 
Wrapped up in fanatical delirium, the spiri- 
tual preachers forget that all are brothers and 
Christians, and that the form of worship only 
differs. Who cannot but pity these mistaken 
and blind advocates ? Does not that clergy- 
man deserve our animadversion who, from the 
pulpit, exclaims that his colleague of another 
sect is no other than the Evil Spirit himself 
wrapped up in a cloak? Yet this has ac- 
tually taken place in Rochester. 

At one extremity of the town is the beauti- 


ful Genesee Fall, ninety feet high. The 
water runs so smoothly over the precipice, 
that, at a distance, the eye can hardly perceive 
the motion. The banks below the Fall pre- 
serve nearly the same elevation as above it ; 
the left shore being* embellished by houses 
and mills, between which little waterfalls 
almost steal through. The opposite side com- 
mands a perfect viev/ of the whole neighbour- 
hood of Rochester at a distance, and of a rock, 
covered with verdure, projecting over the 
Falls, from which Sam Patch, an eccentric cha- 
racter, leaped into the other world. Anxious 
for renown, he abandoned a lucrative situa- 
tion in a cotton manufactory ; and, upon 
various occasions, threw himself down water- 
falls, to the no small terror and surprise of 
the spectators. At Paterson he had already 
acquired a wreath of immortality ; but, not 
satisfied with it, he precipitated himself with 
impunity down Niagara. 

" And here our hero should have stopt. 

And husbanded his brilliant fame; 
But, ah, he took one leap too much. 

And sure most heroes do the same."* 

The last leap he made was from Genesee 
Fall, in 1829. A drop taken too much un- 

•"Life and Writings of Major Jack Downing," p. 239. 


fortunately deprived him of the proper equi- 
librium, and sent him headlong into the abyss, 
whence he never returned. 

" The crowd, with fnifrers in their mouths, 

Turu'd homeward, one by one ; 
And oft with sheepish looks they said, 

' Poor Sam's last job is done ! ' "♦ 

One morning I found myself again on board 
a canal-boat, bound to Buffalo. The com- 
pany was this time not so numerous, but in 
every respect more agreeable than on the jour- 
ney from Schenectady to Utica ; yet even 
here, as in most things, there was a dark side. 
A dozen ugly, offensive, squalling, restless, 
and troublesome children left not an indivi- 
dual a moment in peace. The mother of this 
hopeful brood of urchins cared very little 
about the confusion and uneasiness which her 
dear little ones produced among the company, 
but devoted herself with perfect nonchalance 
to the occupation of knitting stockings. On 
the shoulders of the husband devolved the 
task of attending to his offspring ; and round 
this unfortunate father swarmed the little 
group, as indefatigable as bees, constantly 

We had travelled only a few miles when 

Life and Writings of Major Jack Downing," p. 239. 


the captain informed iis that the canal, a few 
miles on the other side of the village of Brock- 
port, had broken in, and that there was not 
sufficient water for the progress of the boat. 
This piece of intelligence was far from agree- 
able, inasmuch as no accommodation by land 
could be found for so large a number of 
women and children, leaving entirely out of the 
question carpet-bags, trunks, portmanteaus, 
bundles, and bandboxes, without number. 
After a great deal of trouble, and as a parti- 
cular favour, a kind of vehicle was at length 
procured, hung upon springs; but the de- 
structive hand of Time had made such serious 
havoc with it, that the leather springs might 
be torn away piecemeal. The body had the 
form of a barrel, which, laid on one side, 
rolled from right to left, according to the 
nature of the road ; of the wheels nothing can 
be said, except that they danced a quadrille 
among themselves. In this comfortable con- 
veyance, women and children were packed 
together, and their fate was left to a kind 
Providence. Waggons, which jolted most un- 
mercifully, were given to the men. A few of 
the travellers, before they seated themselves, 
shook their heads a little ; but circumstances 
permitted no other choice. They started. 1 


remained alone, wishing to superintend the 
stowing of the luggage in another coach, 
having no springs, but built in one whole 
length, which made it very difficult to turn 
round. Trunks were piled upon trunks, bags 
upon bags, and bandboxes upon bandboxes 
— who has ever heard of ladies travelling 
without bandboxes? — and over these hard 
cushions a buffalo skin was spread, on which 
I was invited to sit down. Thus equipped, we 
set off, exposed to a scorching sun, and en- 
veloped in dust, which often deprived us of 
light as well as respiration. After travel- 
ling in this manner nearly twenty-five miles, 
we arrived safely at Knowlesville, a village 
where the canal- boat might be resumed. 

Night had already arrived, when we went 
on board again ; and, instead of coming to 
Lockport before dusk, we did not see this 
place till three o'clock on the following morn- 
ing. Darkness prevented me from examining 
attentively the five locks built here: I was 
obliged to content myself w ith walking up a 
few granite steps, made on the sides of the 
canal, and, with the assistance of a stick, 
trying to grope my way as well as T could. 
When at length I had reached the upper 
lock, about sixty feet above the basin, I found 

VOL. TI. ^ 


myself, all at once, in the middle of Lockport, 
a village entirely built on and surrounded by 
rocks. It was a singular sight to look down 
from this point on the double row of locks, 
built close to each other, dimly lighted with 
lamps, and in the dark appearing as so many 
flights of steps. Each lock is twelve feet 
wide : the stone-work is executed with much 
care and taste. To obviate the possibility of 
the detention of the canal-boats at this place, 
two sets of locks are built, by which ar- 
rangement one boat is able to ascend, whilst 
another descends. This happened at the time 
I was examining their excellent construction. 
A boat, laden with produce from Ohio, was 
lowered to the right, with the same rapidity 
as ours was raised on the left. The lanterns 
on deck were the only mark by which I could 
perceive whether the craft rose or fell, the 
noise of the rushing water entirely drowning 
the voices of the steersmen. The effect of the 
glimmering light between the black stone 
walls was like magic. No traveller should 
visit Lockport without witnessing such a 

From Lockport the canal runs, for a 
distance of three miles, through a tunnel 
made in the rock, about twenty feet deep, a 


most gigantic and wonderful piece of work. 
Thence to Buffalo tlie canal presents nothing 
remarkable to the eye. At a village called 
Black Rock, I first obtained a view of Lake 
Erie. This small place is situated on the left 
shore of Niagara river, about three miles 
from the lake. The original plan was to finish 
the canal here ; but the insecurity of the 
harbour occasioned its abandonment, and it 
was found necessary to make a dam along 
the shore, to render the passage safe for boats 
as far as Buffalo, where the canal forms a 
junction with Lake Erie. 

Buffalo is a fine and increasing city, which 
bids fair to become, in the course of time, one 
of the largest places in the interior of the 
country. Emigrants here take leave »Qf the 
civilized world, before they start for the im- 
mense forests in the West. Here, goods, des- 
tined for places many hundred miles off, are 
loaded and unloaded. Buildings spring up 
with incredible rapidity. Streets are laid out 
of a size that indicates the anticipations of 
future prosperity. Stores are filled with 
goods from Paris and Cincinnati, London and 
Rochester. JMagazines of fashions are read 
with as much avidity as in any leading 
capital in Europe : mantua-makers, milliners, 

X 2 


and tailors, are as important personages here 
as with us. By way of contrast, a few Se- 
neca Indians are seen here and there : wrapped 
in dirty blankets, they wander about the 
streets, and gaze at all the extraordinary 
changes which have taken place since their 
infancy. If one of these rude beings were 
asked what he thinks of such a goddess as 
Fashion, would he not show his contempt, by 
pluming himself on his own blanket costume ? 
From Buffalo I proceeded by the stage to 
Niagara, crossing at Black Rock the river 
Niagara, which unites two large lakes.* A 
ferry-boat, drawn by horses, brought me to 
the Canada side, where I landed at a small 
village called Waterloo, in the vicinity of 
which Fort Erie was formerly situated. From 
this place the road follows the course of the 
river, and leads through Chippewa and Lun- 
dy's Lane, two places renowned in the last 
war where sanguinary battles were fought 
between the English and the Americans, on 
the 5th and 25th of July, 1814. In the middle 
of the stream lies Grand Island, which is 
twelve miles long, and from two to seven in 
breadth. At the northern extremity, the river 

• Niagani river is tliirty-five miles in Ien<:;ll), coniniences at Lake 
Erie, and discharges itself into Lake Ontario, near Fort Niagara. 
Tliis is the hcinidary between Caiiaihi and the United States. 


takes, for a short distance, a westerly direc- 
tion, and with each mile the rapidity of the 
current increases. No boat ventures farther 
than Chippewa, two miles from the Falls, 
where the river is nearly two miles wide, de- 
creasing* to one mile near the Falls. 

About seven miles from this great natural 
wonder, we were overtaken by an awful storm, 
such as is frequently experienced in the Ame- 
rican hemisphere, and of which only those 
who have witnessed it can form any concep- 
tion. I have repeatedly seen storms of a 
terrific nature on the Alps and Apennines ; 
but such a convulsion in Nature as that which 
I now encountered surpassed my imagination. 
The heavens w^ere clothed in a sable mantle, 
apparently so heavy, that it seemed to rest on 
the tops of the trees. The reflection on the 
stream gave it a sad and gloomy colour, such 
as the sea presents when the waves open their 
bottomless abysses. A kind of darkness, 
neither dusk nor night, covered the scene — 
only now and then interrupted by flashes of 
lightning, visible in every direction, as if they 
were w^aging war against each other. It was 
not imagination that made the atmosphere 
feel extremely oppressive, almost obstructing 
respiration ; even animals felt its influence 


— the horses of the stage would scarcely 
move. This oppressive state of the atmo- 
sphere continued a long time, and was a 
source of great annoyance to all the persons 
crowded together in the coach. Nothing- 
makes travellers so silent and dejected as a 
storm : the most lively and talkative assumes 
a serious look, when his eyes are blinded by 
lightning. Conversation ceased as soon as 
the storm became serious — every one pro- 
bably communed with his conscience. I only 
perceived the heavy breathing when the 
thunder ceased for a few seconds. All com- 
munication with each other was suspended, 
for the crashing of the thunder was deafen- 
ing, and continually increasing. None of the 
females had, as yet, shown any symptoms of 
fear, whatever they felt ; but, when the flashes 
of lightning followed in such rapid succession 
that all around appeared in a blaze, accom- 
panied by awful peals of thunder, cries of 
anxiety v/ere heard in the coach. Our situa- 
tion was rendered still more disagreeable by 
the rain pouring down in torrents, and pene- 
trating, without difficulty, the roof and doors 
of the coach. Who did not then wish himself 
under some hospitable roof? But where was 
such a one to be found ? The driver had, on 



the first appearance of the storm, been desired 
to stop at the nearest house, and assured us 
it was at only a short distance ; but this short 
distance, it was found afterwards, meant a 
few miles ; so that it was not till the worst 
part of the storm was over that we saw signs 
of a human habitation. Here we waited till 
the weather cleared up. The air became by 
degrees lighter and cooler ; and Niagara at 
last resumed its empire, by raising its power- 
ful voice, which is heard for several miles 


Beyond is all abyss. 
Eternity,, whose end no eye can reach. 

Guard well thy thoughts; our thoughts are heard in heaven. 


It was already late in the afternoon when 
we arrived at a large but badly conducted 
hotel, situated on the Canada side. From a 
piazza attached to this building, the Falls 
were visible ; but the prospect there gave 
me but an indifferent idea of Niagara ; and 
I asked myself, rather disappointed, '' Is it 
possible that this can be the greatest cata- 
ract on earth ? " I quitted the piazza with 
disappointed expectations, and retired to my 
room, where I sat down near the window, to 
ruminate over the many miscalculations in 
human life, and what wrong ideas we often 
form. As luck would have it, however, the 
window looked towards the Falls, and by mere 
chance I fixed my eyes on the white wall of 


water, at times hid by a rising vapour. 1 
could see only part of the Horse-shoe Fall, 
and consequently had no idea of the sublime 
part of the precipice below the Fall ; but I 
heard a continual noise from the falling mass 
of water, and felt the whole house shake to 
its very foundation. I listened every moment 
with more eagerness to the sound, and felt a 
strong inclination to take a closer view of 
Niagara. Another moment, and I could no 
longer resist the impulse. Alone, I soon wan- 
dered down the steep height, leading from 
the hotel, and came closer to the Fall, though 
not without having previously paid my tribute 
of curiosity, by getting thoroughly wet by 
the spray, which the wind carried in that 

The first point from which I saw the Fall 
at a short distance was a rock, projecting a 
few yards above the precipice, which forms, 
as it were, one extremity of the Horse-shoe. 
This rock goes by the name of Table Rock. 
Several pieces have lately been detached, and 
fallen into the abyss ; in the remainder there 
are deep cracks, which, sooner or later, will 
lead to the demolition of the whole Table 
Rock. As it is at present, it gives a most 
excellent view of the Fall, being nearly on a 


level with the water, and opposite to the 

At Niagara, there are two Falls, which, 
taken separately and placed in different situ- 
ations, would each be considered prodigious. 
The Canada Fall, or the Horse-shoe Fall, as it 
is likewise called, is, however, the most re- 
markable. It no longer deserves the latter 
name, as, from the undermining of the water, 
it has assumed nearly the form of a semi- 
circle. Were I to judge from what I was 
told on the spot, the Falls at a distant period 
were not far from Lake Ontario, having by 
degrees receded to the present place. This 
assumption rests upon the circumstance that 
the Falls have, within the memory of man, 
actually receded nearly seventy yards. If to 
this is added that the wear of the stones at 
the bottom always continues the same, and, 
that the bottom is the same all the way to 
Lake Erie, the inference is reasonable that 
the great Falls of Niagara will, in the course 
of time, be removed to Buffalo, which is situ- 
ated on the lake just mentioned. 

Long before I arrived at Niagara, I had 
often and repeatedly been told that it is not 
in the power of man to describe and paint 
these Falls in true colours. I even met with 


Americans who went so far as to consider it 
a sacrilege to attempt to depict Niagara by 
word, pen, or pencil. One day — I still have a 
lively recollection of my surprise — I happened 
to pass a bookseller's shop in New York, in 
company with a native American : several 
excellent drawings of Niagara were exposed 
in the window for general inspection. I 
stopped, and drew his attention to them, 
expressing, at the same time, my delight at 
the various engravings. Uncertain whether 
I actually meant what I said, he eyed me a 
long while with a penetrating look, and ex- 
claimed at last, with a sneer, "You have 
not seen Niagara ! " and then cut short his 
conversation. This remark hurt me at the 
time, and I was almost resolved to follow the 
example of a certain traveller, w^ho heard so 
much said of the waterworks at Philadelphia 
that he determined not to see them at all. 
Luckily I did not act upon the same principle 
at Niagara ; but my curiosity became so ex- 
cited, that I can only compare it to the sen- 
sation I felt when entering Rome for the first 
time, or wandering in the streets of Pom- 
peii. In truth, there are no words expressive 
enough, no pen gifted with sufficient inspi- 
ration, no pencil endowed with an adequate 


share of poetical imagination, to describe 
Niagara as it actually is. The production 
will be a picture, a copy ; but it will never 
convey a correct idea of the original. St. 
Peter's at Rome has also been many times 
described; but neither canvass nor paper can 
give the sublime impression which the first 
sight of the original produces. 

"You have not seen Niagara ! " In these 
words there is a certain hidden truth, of 
which I was subsequently thoroughly con- 
vinced. It is necessary to see with one's 
own eyes the immense mass of water, rolling- 
like a sea from the sky down into unknown 
depths — it is necessary to feel the earth trem- 
ble under one's feet, and to listen to the noise 
resembling thunder a thousand times repeat- 
ed, or the plaintive sounds issuing from the 
burning heart of Vesuvius — it is necessary 
to have tottered on the tumultuous waves, to 
know and understand what Niagara is. No 
distance, however great, should prevent a 
person from visiting this Fall : whoever has 
seen it may safely say that he has seen the 
greatest natural wonder in the world, and 
then rest satisfied. Boast afterwards, weak 
creature, without blushing, of thine own 
strength, thy extensive plans, thy great per- 



formances, when thou recoUectest what thou 
wast at the foot of Niagara ! 

The Rapids, as they are called, above the 
Falls, are formed of stones, which, scattered 
in every direction over the bottom of the 
river, make a fearful resistance to its pro- 
gress. If they may be compared to any thing, 
they resemble a wild and furious mob, rush- 
ing forward in a state of delirium and confu- 
sion. The waves cannot be likened to those of 
an agitated sea, or to those near a coast full 
of shoals: no, there is in them something 
absolutely different; they are more like a 
mass of boiling water, from which issue 
clouds of steam. Here and there the surface 
is as smooth as a mirror, having a greenish 
tinge; but again it appears boiling, and then 
assumes a glittering whiteness. The stones 
and rocks which make the resistance have 
nothing remarkable about them, the froth 
thrown high in the air being the only sign 
of their existence. The danger of coming in 
contact with them is very great : it is the 
forerunner of certain death to the unfortunate 
person in the Fall itself. The current between 
the Rapids is so strong that even birds, which 
happen to come near the surface, cannot pos- 
sibly escape. 


An Indian, it is reported, chanced, a few 
years ago, to come too near the Falls, in 
attempting to cross the river in a canoe, not 
far from Chippewa. Seeing no hope of escape, 
he laid himself quietly down in his frail bark, 
which, in a few minutes, disappeared in the 
abyss. In the midst of the strong current is 
a small island, only a few yards in circum- 
ference, on which moss and grass grow in 
abundance ; a spot which may boast of never 
having been trodden by mortal footsteps. Its 
smiling verdure is a tantalizing object to 
ambitious man, who is at length obliged to 
confess that his genius has here suffered ship- 
wreck. The depth of the stream round this 
island is very, considerable, particularly to- 
wards the Canada side, where the shore 
forms a semicircle. 

At the Falls, the water resumes its green 
colour, and rolls over the precipice in one 
immense mass, which, however, becomes more 
contracted at both extremities of the semi- 
circle, and thus loses the colour sooner than 
in the centre. The sun was still diffusing its 
lustre when I first came in sight of the Fall. 
Each drop, at a distance, looked like the most 
perfect diamond, glittering to the eye in va- 
riegated colours. Amidst the Fall, appeared 


a number of rainbows, one of which formed 
a complete circle, whose extreme side dipped 
in the white foam at the bottom of the 
pit. Before the water reaches half the dis- 
tance to the bottom, it is again changed to 
white ; and here the eye is incapable of fol- 
lowing it any longer. A vapour as impene- 
trable as the fogs of the ocean involves the 
remaining part of the cataract in a mysterious 
darkness, and rises three times as high as the 
Fall. When the wind happens to be strong, 
the spray is carried as far as the hotel, and 
it was often impossible to see from one shore 
to the other. 

As soon as the water has collected in the 
dark and gloomy abyss, it appears from above 
like a moving snow-field, or rather a sea of 
snow — if I may be allowed the term — the 
billows of which roll with difficulty. The 
stream remains in this state for a few hundred 
yards, and, apparently exhausted with fatigue 
by the fall, runs feebly between the high and 
steep banks, which consist of naked walls of 
rock, dotted only with pines and cypresses. 
At length it approaches the beautiful American 
Fall, the waters of which advance from the 
right, and both uniting into one agitated and 
disturbed mass, now run past the ferry, until 


they disappear together among the mountains. 
How can a conception of the sublimity of this 
picture be imparted to any one who has not 
visited Niagara! A wall of millions of glitter- 
ing diamonds; a noise which makes the very 
earth tremble; a vapour which mingles with 
the sky ; rainbows of a thousand variegated 
colours ; a gloomy darkness, an icy atmosphere, 
in the abyss — no, the effect of these com- 
bined cannot be conveyed to the mind by de- 
scription, without doing injustice to Niagara. 

The sun had, in the mean time, set beyond 
the Canada boundary, and the darkness of 
night came on suddenly. I had, nevertheless, 
great difficulty in tearing myself away, and 
remained, as if fixed to a rock, till the mid- 
night hour had struck. If Niagara appeared 
majestic in the midst of sunshine, it was not 
less so in the faint light of a summer's night. 
Darkness did not prevent my distinguishing 
every object ; but all appeared surrounded 
by a light mist, such as great summer heats 
produce in northern regions, and which furnish 
an allegorical subject for poets. The noise 
itself assumed a solemn character : it might 
be likened to a language from an unknown 

On the following day, I had occasion to see 


the Fall from different points ; among* which 
I must not forget particularly to mention 
that at the foot of Table Rock. It is not 
without difficulty that a person can fiiui his 
way to this spot : loose and detached pieces 
of rock render it exceedingly dangerous to 
advance: whoever is bold enough to venture, 
not only exposes himself, by a single false 
step, to be precipitated to the bottom, but he 
must also be able to resist the influence of 
a damp and suffocating atmosphere, rising 
from the bottom of the pit. But the pro- 
spect is unparalleled, and he who accomplishes 
the descent into the abyss is well rewarded 
for his trouble : he enters a subterraneous 
path, the roof of which is a projecting rock, 
whose outer side bounds the rolling mass of 
water. This path, about two feet in width, 
and at some places only one, extends about 
one hundred and fifty-three feet towards a 
rock, known by the name of Termination 
Rock. The roof shoots forward considerably 
towards the top, and at one point projects 
about forty feet. 

It is impossible to cross the river to the 
American side, unless at a considerable dis- 
tance from the Canada Fall, and even below 
the American. The passage in a ferry, or 



rather a boat, is performed in about fifteen 
minutes; but it is attended with many dangers 
to an inexperienced boatman, the current 
being very strong* and the water rather rough. 
When safely arrived on the opposite side, the 
traveller is obliged to ascend some wooden 
steps, built along the face of a steep rock, 
and finds himself at last near the American 
Fall, as it is called. This, taken by itself, 
deserves admiration, as one of the stupend- 
ous works of Nature ; but, from its situation so 
near to the other, its effect is less striking. The 
water is precipitated over an almost straight 
wall, appearing, at a distance, as if raised by 
the hand of man, in the form of a rampart. 
Loose stones and fragments of rock break 
the mass of w^ater before it reaches the bot- 
tom, and the spray flies off as far as the 
stream above the Fall. Viewed from below, 
it IS most imposing', and leaves a deep im- 
pression even upon persons who have already 
seen the Canada Fall. 

Two bridges are thrown across this part 
of the river, not far from the Fall, uniting; 
Goat Island with the main land. One of 
them fills every spectator with astonishment, 
the rapiciity of the stream being so great 
that an eye, not accustomed to the sight, ex- 


pects every moment to see it carried away, 
and precipitated over the Fall. The visiter 
hastens across without knowing why, and 
feels pleasure in setting foot on the island. 
None visit Goat Island without being regaled 
with a romantic story of a young man, who 
lived several years as a hermit on this isolated 
and woody spot. Hermits, now-a-days, are 
so uncommon and so much out of fashion, 
that a traveller often spends years without 
ever meeting with one. It is, therefore, not 
without some interest that the visiter listens 
to the gloomy tale of the eccentric but unfor- 
tunate Francis Abbott. The miserable hut 
in which he dwelt, the beaten path between 
the trees, selected for his daily recreation, 
the discordant guitar, his only companion in 
many a lonely hour, the projecting bridge 
over the abyss on Terrapin Rocks, from 
which he lowered himself at times — all these 
relics are beheld with interest, and recall to 
memory one, who, though young, looked upon 
the world with contempt, and only sought 
felicity in retirement and wild Nature. 

Goat Island is still a wilderness. A thick 
forest yet stands in its primitive splendour, 
untouched by the hand of man. The banks 
on three sides of this island are very low ; the 

Y 2 


fourth, towards the North, situate between 
the two great Falls, has an elevation of about 
one hundred and eighty-five feet above the 
surface of the stream. On this side, not far 
from the American Fall, a diminutive Fall has 
formed itself, which is, in my opinion, one of 
the most enchanting I ever saw. Compared 
with the other two natural wonders, it is like 
a plaything to amuse children. The water 
has worked a narrow passage between roots 
of trees and bushes, forming a thick wall, the 
only banks which the eye can discover. Wind- 
ing in numerous curves, the mass of water 
finally draws near the precipice, where it dis- 
appears. A bridge, made of two beams, is 
thrown across the river, a few steps only from 
the Fall ; the view from this rustic spot is 
extremely romantic. Inclosed, as it were, in 
the brushwood, the visiter can only see ob- 
jects lying before the Fall, and hear the roar- 
ing of the great Falls, without being able to 
discern them. The heights of Canada, and 
the town of Clifton, or the City of the Falls *, 
as yet only marked out on paper, rise on the 
other side of the scarcely visible stream in 

• This town, wliich at present consists of only a few houses, is 
built on speculation, and will probably, in the course of time, be- 
come an agreeable retreat to those who prefer the •jjrand scenery of 
Nature to the noise and bustle of great cities. 


the valley, and close the prospect in that di- 
rection. The whole forms a beautiful and 
romantic picture. 

The American Fall, according to the infor- 
mation which I received on the spot, is one 
hundred and sixty-four feet high, and about 
nine hundred feet wide. That again on the 
Canada side is calculated at about one hun- 
dred and fifty or one hundred and seventy 
feet in elevation, and about two thousand feet 
in width ; if to this height is added that of 
the Rapids, the aggregate elevation of the 
Canada Fall will be from two hundred and 
ten to two hundred and twenty feet. To 
ascertain, with any degree of accuracy, the 
depth of this Fall in the centre is impossible ; 
but, if the depth of the current half a mile 
distant, which is two hundred and fifty feet, 
may be taken as a criterion, it is not im- 
probable that the depth in the middle of the 
great Fall is at least five hundred feet. The 
current is calculated at the rate of six miles 
an hour, which, with very little variety, con- 
tinues the whole year through. From this it 
may be inferred, that more than one hundred 
tons of water are hourly precipitated over the 
Falls, and, consequently, in twenty-four hours, 
not less than the immense quantity of two 
thousand four hundred tons. 


Scenes of a barbarous character have, upon 
various occasions, been exhibited at this spot, 
for the purpose of collecting- and amusing a 
number of people. In the summer of 1827, a 
small vessel, filled with animals of differ- 
ent kinds, was sent down the Falls, in the 
presence of several thousand spectators. The 
unfortunate animals, consisting- of bears, 
wolves, dogs, cats, geese, &c. covered the 
deck, and for a while looked at each other 
with surprise and fear, as if unable to account 
for this sudden and unusual association ; but, 
when the bark struck against the rocks above 
the Fall, the confusion on board was beyond 
description ; and in the midst of it a bear was 
shoved into the stream. Luckily he swam on 
shore, notwithstanding the rapidity of the 
current. The small vessel, meanwhile, ran 
aground, lost its masts, and gradually filled 
with water. The poor animals gathered on 
that part of the deck which was most elevated 
above the water, and in a second the whole 
party was precipitated down the Fall. Shat- 
tered fragments now appeared on the sur- 
face of the deep, and of all the animals only 
two were picked up alive — a cat and a goose. 
What cruel sport for an enlightened peoj)le ! 

Days passed like hours at this remarkable 
place, where JVature has done so much, that 


Art dare not venture to attempt any more. 
My time, however, did not permit me to re- 
main any longer ; I therefore left Niagara for 
a small place called Newark, situated on the 
Canada side, at the spot where Niagara 
River discharges itself into Lake Ontario, 
opposite to Fort Niagara on the American 
side. About half way between the Falls and 
Newark is Queenston, a village remarkable 
only for a battle fought here in October, 1812, 
between the English and the Americans, in 
which General Erock, the English com- 
mander, was slain. The Legislature of Upper 
Canada has erected a monument to his me- 
mory, consisting of a stone column, of spiral 
form, one hundred and twenty-six feet high. 
It stands on an eminence, two hundred and 
seventy feet above the surface of the Niagara 
River, and is a conspicuous object in the 
neighbourhood. The prospect from the top 
is represented to be extremely beautiful ; but 
the sudden departure of the steamboat pre- 
vented me from visiting it. 

From the confluence of Niagara River, 
steamers are, during the fine season, continu- 
ally plying between Prescott and Ogdens- 
burgh, on the St. Lawrence. One of the 
largest, the Great Britain, carried me across 


Lake Ontario to Prescott, a distance of two 
hundred and fifty miles, in thirty hours, in- 
cluding several stoppages. Lake Ontario is 
an immense sheet of water, an absolute sea, 
and at times very dangerous to navigators. 
It is one hundred and seventy-one miles in 
length, and four hundred and sixty-seven in 
circumference ; its depth is in many places 
unknown. Opposite to Kingston it is about 
ten miles wide ; afterwards it decreases gra- 
dually, and forms the River St. Lawrence, 
which, for a considerable distance, continues 
of the same breadth, about two miles. A num- 
ber of islands, scattered, as it were, over the 
surface, has obtained the name of '' The 
Thousand Isles." 

The steamboat stopped at several places to 
land and receive passengers : the principal 
were Oswego and Kingston. The former 
appeared to be in a flourishing and improving 
state, owing to its advantageous situation 
at the mouth of the canal, which unites Lake 
Ontario with the Erie Canal at Syracuse. 
Kingston, again, is a town in Upper Canada, 
that will, according to all appearance, become 
one of the most important places in this part of 
the country. It is a naval station, which cir- 
cumstance, coupled with its active commerce 


with the interior, gives it a life and animation 
little according with the environs, destitute as 
they are of every thing picturesque, and only 
distinguished by well cultivated corn-fields. A 
canal has been cut, at the ex pence of Govern- 
ment, for the purpose of avoiding shoals and 
dangerous points in the St. Lawrence, every 
where found between Prescott and Montreal. 
This canal, known by the name of the Rideau 
Canal, commences at a short distance from 
Kingston, and terminates at Ottawa River, 
which falls into the St. Lawrence at Montreal. 
Important results to Kingston are expected 
from this undertaking, and I have little doubt 
they will be realized. Attempts have lately 
been made to remove the seat of government 
for Upper Canada, now at York, to Kingston ; 
but hitherto without success. 

The distance from Prescott to Montreal is 
not more than one hundred and fifty miles : 
this was one of the most wearisome trips I 
had in Canada. The current over the shoals 
and sand-banks was so strong, that the 
steamboats did not venture to cross them. 
We were, therefore, obliged to land on arriving 
at three different flats, and to proceed a few 
miles by stages, until the river became navi- 
gable again. In this manner were the tra- 


vellers compelled, during this short trip of one 
hundred and fifty miles, to alight five different 
times, and to remove from steamboat to stage, 
and vice versa. It is to be hoped that the 
Canadians will remedy this evil, by building 
stronger and more suitable steamers, of suffi- 
cient power to work against the strong cur- 
rent. I must also add, that they must im- 
prove stages and roads, which are really very 

During this excursion, I had frequent op- 
portunities of seeing Indians. They were, as 
is common in the vicinity of Whites, destroyed 
by the influence of ardent spirits and debau- 
chery, but gave, nevertheless, a characteristic 
appearance to the landscape. 

In many places, where the flats prevented 
the steamboats from advancing, the Indians 
undauntedly pushed forward their canoes 
through rushing waves, and between blind 
shoals in the river. The frail bark flew with 
the rapidity of lightning over the flats, and 
was easily managed with a single oar, held 
by an Indian sitting in the stern. Here and 
there, on shore, I also saw groups of these 
Red Men, all peaceably occupied in cooking 
their victuals, or taking their siesta. The 
village of St. Regis, which is the boundary 


between Canada and the United States, is 
inhabited by an Indian tribe. These people 
are in general baptized, and have even a 
church, where divine service is performed. 
They subsist partly by agriculture, partly by 
the sale of trifling articles manufactured by 
them, and are said to be very amicably dis- 
posed towards the Whites. 


Happy the nations of the moral north ! 

Where all is virtue, and the winter season 
Sends Sin, without a rag on, shivering forth. 

('Twas snow that brought St. Anthony to reason.) 


Montreal is the second town in Canada, 
and is situated on an island in the River St. 
Lawrence. Seen at a distance, it looks like 
a compact mass of buildings, confined within 
narrow boundaries. The streets, with the 
exception of St. James's Street, are narrow, 
crooked, and badly laid out ; the houses, 
chiefly built of brick, are low and destitute of 
taste. This defect is not perceived outside the 
town, so that the first impression of Montreal 
is by no means disagreeable. The roofs, 
covered with tin, and glittering in the sun, 
give them a singular appearance, and partly 
correct the obscurity of the gloomy streets. 
A number of steeples rise between the build- 
ings, at tlie head of which appears the ma- 


jestic cathedral, undoubtedly the largest in 
North America. Opposite to the town is St. 
Helen's Island, which is fortified ; and beside 
it, the Island of Nuns, and several others. 
Towards the west, again, is a mountain, 
standing like a bulwark against storms, from 
which the city derives its name. Here and 
there, between the openings of this mountain, 
are seen neat country-houses, the whiteness 
of which forms an agreeable contrast with 
the surrounding green parks and groves. At 
the top of the mountain is a thick wood, 
whose richness imparts life to the whole 

Among the public buildings at Montreal 
generally shown to strangers, the cathedral 
and some of the convents deserve to be men- 
tioned. The first is built of stone, in the 
Gothic style, two hundred and fifty-five feet 
in length, and one hundred and thirty-four in 
width. The plan of the architect was to 
build six square towers, two hundred feet 
high : this has, unfortunately, not been car- 
ried into effect. Two towers only have been 
commenced, and even those are not finished ; 
so that the front of the church has a very 
unfinished appearance. The interior con- 
tains nothing remarkable. The paintings 


over the altar are not particularly good, and 
cannot be called masterpieces. Behind the 
principal altar there are a few painted win- 
dows, representing' Christ and the twelve 
Apostles, deservedly admired on account of 
the freshness of the colours and the correct- 
ness of the design. 

The convents are almost exclusively ap- 
propriated to the care of the sick. The 
Hotel de Dieu is a spacious hospital, managed 
by nuns, whose zeal in the good cause is not 
surpassed in any Catholic country in Europe. 
The Grey Sisters have another hospital in the 
convent, where the orphans who had the mis- 
fortune of losing their parents during the 
prevalence of the cholera last year are taken 
care of*. It is scarcely possible to express 
in words the active humanity, the extreme 
kindness, shown by these charitable nuns 
towards the unfortunate children ; it is equally 
impossible to convey a correct idea of the 
careful education which they give to these fa- 
therless little ones. The Protestant can appre- 
ciate such noble actions as well as tlie Catho- 
lic ; such sacrifices and such a renunciation of 
all the enjoyments of life in favour of a good 

• In Quebec, two thousand five hundred persons died of tliis epi- 
demic: in Montreal, two thousand. 


cause, must be admired by every sect on 
earth. The nuns possess a convent chapel, 
fitted up with taste and elegance. A stranger 
is, without difficulty, admitted into it, as well 
as into the convent ; he is only expected to 
buy a few articles manufactured by the nuns. 

Montreal has an extensive trade, and may 
be considered as a more thriving place than 
Quebec, although the latter city is better 
situated for trade. The population of Mont- 
real, in the year 1825, was about twenty-four 
thousand souls ; at this period, it was stated 
to exceed thirty thousand. Lower Canada 
had, in the year 1814, a population of three 
hundred and thirty-five thousand ; at the 
present moment, it cannot amount to less 
than six hundred thousand. To judge by 
the influx of emigrants of late years, the po- 
pulation of Upper Canada ought to be nearly 
equal to that of the Lower Province. 

Canada, according to a late census, contains 
one million inhabitants. The number of per- 
sons who have come hither, within the last ten 
years, for the purpose of settling, is very con- 
siderable, and annually on the increase. In 
the year 1825, nine thousand and ninety-seven 
emigrants arrived : in 1832, forty-nine thou- 
sand, four hundred, and twenty-two. Large 


districts, particularly in Upper Canada, are 
peopled with the same incredible rapidity as 
in the Western States of the American Re- 
public. " Forests are, in every direction, 
levelled with the ground," says Flint in his 
work often referred to — "and large and 
compact villages spring up in two or three 
years from the period of erecting the first 
hut." The price of uncultivated land is nearly 
the same as in the United States. Several 
private companies, to which Government has 
made considerable grants of land, are striv- 
ing to induce new comers to settle near the 
shores of Lake Huron ; but the districts to 
which the tide of emigration principally flows 
are those in the neighbourhood of the River 
St. Lawrence, in Upper Canada, and about 
Lake Ontario. 

A wealthy, and rather better-informed, 
class of individuals from Europe has, of late 
years, settled in Upper Canada, in preference 
to the Lower Province, on account of les Lois 
des Seigneurs, which are still in force there. 
These laws, which give proprietors the same 
prerogatives as during the existence of the 
feudal system in Europe, date their origin 
from the times when Canada was peopled by 
French emigrants. The Government of the 


mother country, as usual upon such occasions, 
was not dilatory in making large grants of 
land to court favourites. The consequence of 
so impolitic a step may easily be imagined. 
The new proprietors had more land than they 
could manage ; and, as they neither possessed 
sufficient means to engage hands for carrying 
on agriculture upon an extensive scale, nor 
were permitted, according to an express sti- 
pulation in the French patent, to dispose of 
any portion of their land, with a view to the 
better cultivation of the remainder, it was 
natural that the improvement of wild tracts 
should proceed but slowly. *' Upon the 
whole," says the author of the interesting- 
work, England and America — *' it will seem 
that the establishment of these absurd lord- 
ships in the wilderness was, after the Dutch 
plan in South Africa, the best way to ruin the 
colony, by means of the restrictions thereby 
imposed on the useful appropriation of waste 

In Upper Canada, on the contrary, where 
such laws never existed, the emigrants found 
every possible encouragement for settling. If 
it is considered that Lower Canada had a 
large population at the time the Upper Pro- 
vince was peopled only by Indians, and if, 

VOL. II. z 


moreover, the increase is added, which has 
taken place in the interior only of the country 
(exclusively of that in Quebec, Montreal, and 
other towns,) it will be seen that Upper Ca- 
nada has gained a great accession of inhabit- 
ants in a very short time, and that ten years 
have there effected more than one hundred in 
Lower Canada. Such is always the conse- 
quence of unreasonable laws in this enlight- 
ened age. 

The Catholic religion is the prevailing one 
among the Canadians, particularly among 
those who inhabit Montreal and Quebec, and 
the whole of Lower Canada, where the 
offspring of former French colonists still re- 
side. In Upper Canada, again, which has 
received the greater part of its population 
from England and Scotland, the Protestant 
religion is prevalent. 

The name of Canada has given rise to 
many conjectures, and antiquaries still differ 
as to its etymology. The Spaniards visited 
this country before the French. One indi- 
vidual of the former nation, named Velasco, 
it is said, expecting to find abundant gold 
and silver mines, on being disappointed in 
his expectations, exclaimed repeatedly to his 
followers, Aca nada, which means " Nothing 


is to be found here." The Indians, hearing* 
the disappointed Spaniards often repeat this 
expression, remembered the sound, and men- 
tioned it to the French on their arrival, pre- 
suming that they belonged to the same nation, 
and consequently understood the meaning of 
it. The French, unacquainted with the sig- 
nification, thought Aca nada was the name 
given to the country by the Indians, and 
therefore determined in future to call it Ca- 
nada. Another explanation says, that Kan- 
nada is an Indian word, meaning a village, 
or dwellings of the natives, which induced 
the French, it is said, to call the whole coun- 
try by that name. The real Canadians, I mean 
the descendants of French colonists, are of 
diminutive size, strongly built, with lively, 
healthy, sun-burnt faces, and, upon the whole, 
contented and happy. Their eyes are black 
and sparkling, their cheeks thin, and the 
chin pointed. They speak French, but it 
is a kind of patois, which no Frenchman can 
understand. They are naturally quiet, and 
satisfied with little : improvements are into- 
lerable to them. Education has, unfor- 
tunately, made but little progress among this 
mass of people, who are blindly led by priests 
and monks. Their manners have a slight 

z 2 


tinge of the characteristics which distin- 
guished their forefathers, chiefly natives of 
Normandy. Towards each other they are 
friendly and full of attentions, fond of sing- 
ing, dancing, and mirth. They are strangers 
to fear, and endure privations and misfor- 
tunes with extraordinary apathy. This pe- 
culiar trait is not met with in Canada only : 
wherever Frenchmen have settled in America, 
their descendants have the same character- 
istics. A traveller will find them in the Wes- 
tern States, from the Pacific Ocean to the 
mouth of the Mississippi. 

Their costume is unique, but old-fashioned. 
The men wear jackets, with a red sash round 
the waist, hats or caps, and mocassins of 
coarse leather. The w^omen also have a 
costume, which reminds you of the fashions 
which prevailed several hundred years ago. 

From Montreal I proceeded by a steam- 
boat to Quebec, a distance of one hundred 
and eighty miles, in eighteen hours. The 
River St. Lawrence has its source in unknown 
regions in the West, forms Lake Erie in its 
course, precipitates itself down the Falls at 
Niagara, and is finally lost in Lake Ontario. 
Thence to the sea, it goes by the name of St. 
Lawrence. From Montreal to Quebec, its 


width is continually changing", being in 
places only two miles, in others, again, fifteen, 
as at the Lake of St. Peter's. The banks are 
covered with houses, churches, villages, and 
mansions, belonging to wealthy seigneurs. 
The roofs of the houses and churches are 
covered with tin, and the buildings generally 
painted white. Between them may be seen 
large fields of Indian corn, and meadows, 
parks, and groves ; and, in the background, 
appear lofty mountains, or wild forests. On 
the banks fine wheat, barley, grass, and 
tobacco, are cultivated. The soil, however, 
becomes less fertile as you approach Quebec ; 
and, upon the whole, agriculture appears less 
advanced than in Upper Canada. A few 
miles up the country, within a short distance 
of the shores of the River St. Lawrence, the 
axe has not yet touched a single tree ; there 
still stands the virgin forest in all its primi- 
tive majesty. 

The principal places between the two cities 
just mentioned are William Henry, or Sorel, 
and Three Rivers, two sandy and very dis- 
agreeable spots. At Sorel, the Governor of 
Lower Canada has a country-seat, where he 
resides with his family several months in the 

342 QUEBEC. 

The distance from Quebec is still consider- 
able when the famous Fort, Cape Diamond, 
becomes visible. Near to the city, on the 
right shore, the mouth of the river Chaudiere 
is passed, and Wolfe's Cove, on the other. 
It was at this point that General Wolfe, in 
the year 1759, led the English army up a 
steep hill, one hundred and fifty feet high, 
with the intention of taking possession of the 
heights above, called the Heights of Abraham. 
Wolfe, as it is well known, fell in the action ; 
but had the satisfaction of first witnessing 
the discomfiture of the French army, and 
hearing the sounds of victory proclaimed. 
He expired shortly afterwards, but left to 
the English nation the inheritance of Quebec 
and all Canada, which he sealed with his 

The City of Quebec is situated on the left 
bank of the St. Lawrence, three hundred and 
fifty miles from the sea, and immediately 
above the point where the river St. Charles 
joins the mighty river. Nature has divided 
Quebec into an upper and a lower town. 
The first is built on a steep rock, three 
hundred and forty-five feet above the level of 
the water, and surrounded by walls, on which 
fortifications have been erected, forming the 

QUEBEC. 343 

ornament and celebrity of Quebec. The lower 
part, again, is built at the foot of the same 
rock, and exclusively occupied by the lower 
classes and by merchants' offices. The streets 
are narrow and mean ; even in the upper part 
they have the same defect. The houses are 
chiefly built of brick, two stories high, with 
tin roofs : a great many are painted white, 
which improves their appearance. The popu- 
lation, in 1800, amounted to twelve thousand, 
in 1825, to twenty-two thousand, souls. En- 
glish is spoken in the higher society : among 
the lower ranks, again, French is as much 
heard as English. The Indians, of whom 
there is a great proportion, speak a corrupt 
French as well as their native tongue, and 
even make use of the former language among 

The public buildings in Quebec are far 
from possessing any remarkable feature ; still 
they have more the appearance of what they 
profess to be than others of the same charac- 
ter in various parts of Canada. The prin- 
cipal of them are, the Roman Catholic church, 
with a few tolerable paintings ; the Seminary, 
formerly exclusively appropriated to the study 
of theology, but now open to every other 
branch of learning ; the Court of Justice ; the 


Ursiiline Convent, founded as early as 1639, 
in which a number of girls are educated ; the 
Castle of St. Louis, or the palace of the Go- 
vernor, built on a perpendicular rock, about 
two hundred feet above the stream. This 
building was consumed by fire in the winter 
subsequent to my visit. 

But the greatest and finest ornament of 
Quebec is the Fort at Cape Diamond, thus 
called on account of the glittering appearance 
of the stones that form the rock, on which the 
citadel is built. It commands not only the 
whole city, but also the surrounding parts of 
the neighbourhood. The English govern- 
ment has expended immense sums upon these 
works, and even to this day the gigantic 
undertaking is far from being completed. 
When once finished, the fortress will be im- 
pregnable on all sides, excepting that on which 
the Heights of Abraham are situated. These 
heights are nearly of the same elevation as 
the ramparts of the fortress, and close to 
them. It was from this side that General 
Wolfe attacked Quebec. 

No point in Canada offers a more extensive 
and delightful view than this citadel. From 
the upper walls one may see far and near, and 
every hundred yards in advance presents a 


different prospect. Below, lies the confined 
city, with its tin roofs ; the residence of the 
governor, with the adjoining garden ; the 
harbour, full of ships, steamers, and sloops. 
The mighty St. Lawrence is seen for a dis- 
tance of some miles, rolling its waves between 
lofty banks ; towards the north it is divided 
into two parts by the Island of Orleans. To 
the west of the city runs the fine river St. 
Charles, and, on the other side of it, opens 
an extensive country, studded with houses 
and cottages, which, like a long and endless 
street, follow as far as the eye can reach. 
Behind these cultivated and closely built 
parts, mountains rise in succession, some at 
a distance, others quite near, with sharp and 
pointed tops. The Tsononthuan Mountain, 
with its two peaks of two thousand feet, is 
seen foremost in this chain, which extends 
from the coast of Labrador to Lake Superior. 
Opposite to the city appears Point Levi, a 
small village, the church-spire of which shoots 
up in a most picturesque manner, in the midst 
of the thick wood. From another quarter, 
again, may be seen the Indian villap:e of 
Loretto, whose romantic situation is pleasino- 
even at this distance. 

There are two waterfalls in the vicinity of 


Quebec, which every traveller should visit. 
One is called Montmorency, the other Chau- 
diere. The Montmorency is about eight miles 
from the city, on a river of the same name, 
not far from the spot where it discharges 
itself into the St. Lawrence. The stream runs 
a great distance between narrow cliffs, till it 
approaches the Fall, which is one hundred feet 
in width. It there precipitates itself, with 
extraordinary velocity, over a perpendicular 
forest-clad rock, two hundred and forty feet 
high, and is transformed into white foam be- 
fore it reaches the bottom. The love of gain 
has here, as in many other places of the like 
nature, destroyed the beauty of the Fall, by 
the erection of saw-mills, for which purpose 
considerable portion of the water has been 
diverted from the general mass. Several 
small cataracts have formed themselves on 
the sides of it, so that the quantity of wa- 
ter, which now, in an undivided column, 
precipitates itself down the rock, is small in 
proportion to what it would be if the stream 
fell uninterruptedly into the abyss. In winter, 
the surrounding heights are used as Man- 
tagnes Russes. 

The Chaudiere Falls are situated on the 
river of that name, nine miles from its influx 


into the St. Lawrence. The stream is about 
four hundred feet wide, and the height of the 
Fall one hundred and thirty-five. Several 
rocks divide it, so that, properly speaking-, it 
forms three different Falls close to each other, 
which afterwards unite into a single undivid- 
ed mass of water, before reaching the bottom. 
The neighbourhood is extremely romantic, 
and enhances the beauty of the whole. Which- 
ever way the eye turns, nothing but rocks of 
manifold shapes are seen, whilst verdant 
forest-trees bend their heads over the stream. 
The uniform and sublime noise of rolling 
waters is heard in every direction. The spot 
deserves to be called the Lover's Waterfall 
in Canada, as Trenton in the United States 
is denominated. 

The government of Canada is conducted by 
a governor for each province, appointed by 
the King of Great Britain. These officers 
select seventeen Members of the Council, or 
Upper House, which, together with the 
Lower House, whose members are chosen by 
the people, form the Parliament or legislative 
body that rules the English colony of Ca- 
nada. To possess a right to vote, it is neces- 
sary to be settled in the country, to have an 
income of five pounds a year, and to pay taxes 


to the amount of ten pounds, Canada cur- 
rency. No law is valid until it has received 
the sanction of the King, and no measure, of 
v^hatever import it may be, can be acted upon 
before it has been submitted and signed on 
the other side of the Atlantic. 

Is Canada really happy, ruled as it is by 
an English King ? This question is often put 
by natives, as well as foreigners, visiting the 
country. I will answer it in the very words 
given to me : '' Canada has, for several years 
past, been in a feverish state, and yet no 
means have been adopted for allaying the 
symptoms. On the contrary, a policy, at 
once uncertain and hesitating, has visibly 
increased the malady; so that all the com- 
ponent parts of the State, commerce, agri- 
culture, and industry, have suffered very 
seriously. England, it is true, has endea- 
voured to conciliate the affections of the co- 
lonists, by granting various advantages in 
regard to duties on timber, the principal arti- 
cle of export from Canada, the whole country 
being, with few exceptions, nothing but forests. 
But the colonists know, also, that they render 
a great service to the mother country, by 
receiving and providing for the poor surplus 
population of Great Britain, unable to live at 


home. They know that it is a misfortune to 
England to possess so large a population, and 
that Canada serves the mother country as 
much as herself, when she receives into her 
bosom that which is a real incumbrance to 
the other. England can therefore only blame 
herself, if she neglects the opportunity of 
deriving from the colony all the advantages 
which may be expected from a country posses- 
sing in her soil so many treasures and riches. 
Restless demagogues adroitly avail them- 
selves of the conjuncture, and excite waver- 
ing minds against the mother country. The 
English Governors are daily losing their 
popularity, in the same proportion as the 
democratic party is gaining the ascendency. 
Principles of freedom from the neighbouring- 
States penetrate imperceptibly among the 
rising generation, and the force of example 
will sooner or later induce the Canadians to 
hoist the standard of rebellion, and to declare 
themselves independent." 

All this is possible, perhaps probable ; but 
would such a step, I ask, so much improve 
the condition of Canada, as to preclude the 
expediency of first taking into consideration 
the many perils to which the colony would be 
exposed by declaring itself independent of 

350 ST. John's. 

Great Britain ? 1 do not know enough of 
Canada to answer this question ; yet I cannot 
help thinking that such a measure, if acted 
upon by the colony, would rather benefit than 
injure the mother country. 

In order to be able to return to the United 
States, I was obliged to travel back to Mont- 
real, and thence continue my route, partly by 
steam, partly by land, to St. John's, a small 
town on the River Richelieu, which unites 
the waters of Lake Champlain with those of 
the St. Lawrence, discharging itself subse- 
quently into the latter stream at Sorel. Se- 
veral projects have lately been in contempla- 
tion to facilitate the communication between 
St. John's and La Prairie, on the River St. 
Lawrence, by means of a canal or railroad, 
but neither had been carried into execution 
in the summer of 1834. 

At St. John's I went on board the fine 
steamer Franklin, which started on the fol- 
lowing morning for Whitehall, a town situ- 
ated at the southern extremity of Lake Cham- 
plain, which forms the boundary between the 
States of New York and Vermont. It is one 
hundred and forty miles in length, and four- 
teen in width, at the widest part. At both 
extremities it is so confined as to resemble a 


narrow river. The banks are in some places 
in their natural state, full of woods and mo- 
rasses : in others, cultivation has made some 
progress. With the exception of the country 
about Burlington, which is extremely pretty, 
I found nothing grand or striking in the ap- 
pearance of the shores of this lake. During 
the French war, and the struggle for inde- 
pendence, this neighbourhood was frequently 
the scene of sanguinary battles between the 
hostile armies. Of the fortifications then 
existing nothing remains but the ruins of 
Ticonderoga and Crown Point, the first of 
which has a very picturesque appearance, 
between the two lakes, Champlain and 
George. It was erected by the French, in 
1756, and afterwards fell into the hands of 
the English. The Americans took possession 
of it in the year 1775, and retained it till 
1777, when the English General, Burgoyne, 
retook it. At the present moment, it is only 
a heap of ruins, with a few of the walls still 

Lake George is one of the finest lakes in 
America. It is about thirty-six miles in 
length, and from three quarters of a mile to 
four miles in width. It is interspersed with 
a number of islands ; among which Diamond 


Island deserves to occupy the first place. 
The water has a peculiar clearness, known 
so well all over the country, that it has be- 
come a proverb to say clear as the water of 
Lake George. The banks, chiefly consisting of 
mountains, are clad with the verdure of trees 
and bushes, and sometimes shoot up close to 
the water's edge, sometimes recede towards 
the interior, leaving between the margin and 
the top of the mountains long and gradual 
ascents, which the husbandman is able to 
cultivate to advantage. The whole lake had 
something so pleasing and inspiring, that it 
was with the utmost difficulty the visiter 
could be prevailed on to quit this enchant- 
ing neighbourhood. More than once, while 
traversing Lake George, did I call to mind 
the beautiful Loch Katerine in Scotland. I 
thought that 1 recognised Helen's haunted 
Lake, its magic island, and romantic banks ; 
I fancied myself once more in the country of 
Walter Scott. 

At the southern extremity of Lake George 
is a small village, called Caldwell, distin- 
guished by its pleasant and country-like si- 
tuation. During the summer months this 
place is much frequented by inhabitants from 
the larger cities, desirous of some relaxation 


after the noisy pleasures of a winter's town 
life. From this place I proceeded to Saratoga, 
passing, on the road, through Glen Falls, an 
insignificant place, with a waterfall, only 
known by Cooper's interesting novel, " The 
Last of the Mohicans," the scenes of which 
are partly laid here, partly on the shores of 
Lake George. 

From Saratoga I again travelled to New 
York, in the beginning of September, 1833. 
The heat was extremely oppressive ; and such 
of the citizens as were not actually obliged to 
remain at home had repaired, some to the 
sea-coast, others to the North, in quest of 
refreshing breezes. 



In peace thou art the gale of spiing; in war the mountain-storm. 


Who can visit the United States without 
making a pilgrimage to Mount Vernon, and, 
at the grave of Washington, devoting a few 
moments to the memory of America's greatest 
man ? Like the pilgrim in the East, I was 
impelled by a strong desire to view and ex- 
amine the spot, which contained the ashes of 
Washington. I proceeded, consequently, on 
my journey, without loss of time. Mount 
Vernon is situated about eight miles from the 
town of Alexandria, on the banks of Potomac 
River. I readily accepted the proposal of a 
kind and attentive friend to accompany me 
thither, and started early one morning, fa- 
voured by the finest weather imaginable. 
The road offered no other interest but the 


reflexion that Washington often travelled over 
it. Like other visiters, I should probably 
have made sad complaints of deep sand, heaps 
of stones, and holes in various places, if I had 
not been fortunate enough to have a lively 
and agreeable travelling companion, belong- 
ing to the Society of Quakers. Before I had 
an opportunity of becoming acquainted with 
this gentleman, I had, like many other Euro- 
peans, entertained an erroneous idea of that 

It is something so common with us to 
attach to the name of Quaker a certain de- 
gree of stiffness, reserve, and unsociableness, 
that, I candidly confess, I was not a little 
surprised and delighted to meet with an indi- 
vidual, with a square-cut coat and broad- 
brimmed hat, disposed to laugh and joke, and 
possessing the faculty of making all around 
him happy and contented. This gentleman, 
as well as others belonging to the same sect, 
whom I subsequently met at his house, left 
upon me the impression, that a Quaker can 
be as merry as a Lutheran or a Catholic, 
although he may appear a little stiff at his 
meeting, and the world may think him a sin- 
gular and reserved being. I shall never for- 
get the many happy hours I spent in his 

A A 2 


company : they were among' the most agreea- 
ble I passed in America. 

Mount Vernon still belongs to the Wash- 
ington family, and is now in the hands of 
a Mrs. Washington, whose deceased husband 
was a relative of the General's. The pro- 
perty requires large funds to keep it in repair, 
but yields nothing. This circumstance, coupled 
with frequent absence on the part of the lady, 
has had an injurious effect on the appearance 
of the estate. Fields, which in the time of 
Washington yielded large crops, are now un- 
productive and filled with weeds. The inclo- 
sures are all in ruins. Gardens, in which 
exotics and fruit trees of both hemispheres 
once flourished, now hardly give an idea of 
the splendour of former times ; even the gar- 
dener bore the aspect of a man who had one 
foot in the grave. Labouring under the effects 
of ague and other disorders, his countenance 
was as yellow as the lemons that scarcely 
ripened under his care. The decayed state 
of the house also bespoke neglect : servants 
and slaves appeared sluggish, and as if aban- 
doned by their mistress. Every thing, in 
short, looked sombre ; even the most trifling- 
thing seemed to remind one of the dissolution 
of the great proprietor. No husbandmen 


were visible in the fields, no faithful dog* fro- 
licked in the yard, not a single bird was 
heard in the groves, nor could the sound of a 
solitary cattle-bell be distinguished. Within 
the house reigned only grief and sorrow ; the 
room once occupied by Washington was still 
the scene of tears, which seemed never to cease 
flowing in this abode of woe. "^" The house is 
built of wood, and stands on an eminence close 
to the beautiful Potomac. The front facing 
the stream is embellished by a row of pillars, 
supporting the roof, which projects beyond 
the wall, and thus forms an open corridor, 
certainly very pleasant in a warm climate, 
but not very tasteful to the eye. In front of 
this corridor is a sloping lawn, extending to 
wards the river and terminating in a steep 
hill, covered by a thick wood. Below the hill 
again appears the Potomac, overspread with 
sails, and the opposite shore exhibits a hilly 
and variegated country. 

The main building forms a quadrangle, 
surrounding a court-yard. On each side of 
the house is a small wooden building, joined 
to it by an open portico. The windows are as 

• The present Mrs. Washington, who only a few days previously 
arrived at INlount Vernon on a visit, had received the distressing 
intelligence of the death of her sister, a few moments before my 


small as those of ordinary garrets, and the door 
suitable for a small cottage. Inside the house 
I found only one object which excited peculiar 
interest, and which is contemplated, no doubt, 
with looks of curiosity by every visiter. I 
mean the key of the Bastille, which Lafayette 
sent as a present to Washington, immediately 
after the destruction of that prison, at the 
time of the French Revolution. It is heavy, 
clumsy, and strong, such as a prison key 
generally is ; the handle is in the form of a 
corkscrew. What a number of victims has 
this key excluded from all connexion with 
the world ! What a multitude of dark and 
sanguinary deeds has it consigned to oblivion ! 
No individual on earth was certainly better 
entitled to it after the overthrow of the Bas- 
tille than the champion of American liberty. 
Lafayette felt this, and disposed of it accord- 
ingly. This former instrument of iniquity, of 
blood, and of torture, is now exhibited to the 
world in a glass frame. 

I now stood near his tomb. Washington 
was at first interred in a vault above the 
ground, close to the eminence on which the 
house is built, whence the stream was visible 
between surrounding trees. Although this 
was one of the finest and most suitable spots 


in the neighbourhood, his remains were lately- 
removed to another grave, a few hundred 
yards south of the former. This rather ex- 
cited my surprise, for the present situation is 
not near so good as the former ; but Wash- 
ington, it appears, selected this spot himself; 
and, with a view to fulfil his wishes, the rela- 
tions consented to the otherwise unpardonable 
act of disturbing his ashes. It was a long time 
in contemplation to remove them to Wash- 
ington, and place them under the dome of the 
Capitol, as those of Nelson are deposited un- 
der the cupola of St. Paul's in London ; but 
his relatives have not as yet acquiesced in the 
proposal. Government will, however, soon 
be obliged to purchase Mount Vernon ; other- 
wise the residence of Washington may possi- 
bly fall into the hands of some mercenary 
speculator, who may think fit to impose a 
certain contribution on individuals desirous 
of seeing the grave, and, moreover, dispose 
perhaps of the bones, of the deceased, as 
monks do in Catholic countries with those 
of saints and martyrs. 

The present sepulchre is built of brick, at 
the extremity of a small hillock. The door 
is of iron. In front, round it, and on the 
grave itself, grow bushes and trees of various 


kinds, but mostly cedars, all more or less 
mutilated by the thousands of travellers who 
resort hither every year, and cannot resist 
the temptation of carrying' to their remote 
homes some relic from Washington's tomb. 
How dear are these relics to Americans ! In 
Missouri and in Louisiana, in Florida and 
in Maine, they have the same value, the same 
interest: even in distant Europe, these green 
cedar twigs are contemplated with emotion 
and respect. And yet what are they ? Com- 
mon twigs of cedar ! Many a mighty monarch 
slumbers in the arms of death, under the 
pressure of monument and statues; and 
ages roll on without a fragment or a single 
flower near his grave being disturbed by a 
pilgrim, as a memento of the deceased. Pos- 
terity seldom sheds a tear over showy monu- 
ments: you may read in letters of gold records 
of virtue and noble deeds, but after-ages, 
knowing how to appreciate such records, will 
not perhaps remember them. The marble 
may strike every one, but neither its white- 
ness nor its golden inscription induces the 
wandeicr to pause and to call to memory the 
past. But, at the simple brick tomb at Mount 
Vernon, seethe multitude daily paying homage 
to the deceased. From the frozen regions of 


Lapland to the orange-groves of Sicily, from 
the northern forests of Canada to the land of 
thePatagonians, men flock thither, to see the 
last resting place of Washington. No exter- 
nal show, no Carrara marble, recording heroic 
deeds and unusual virtues, is to be found there. 
Of what use is the cold stone to such a man ? 
Every noble bosom is Washington's best mo- 
nument. There tyrants may read the actions 
of a great man, and the historian collect 
materials for his life. 

During my residence in Alexandria this 
time, I had one day occasion to attend the 
wedding of persons belonging to the Society 
of Friends. The ceremony was conducted 
with all that simplicity which characterises 
the sect, and took place at one of their meet- 
ings, held every Thursday forenoon at eleven 
o'clock. On all ordinary occasions, it is not 
usual for both sexes to sit together, or even 
to enter at the same door ; but on an extraor- 
dinary one, like the present, the bridegroom 
has a right to lead the bride by the hand, and 
to take his place by her side — this was pro- 
bably the first and last time in their lives 
that this liberty was allowed. Neither party 
was dressed as if belonging to the ** Society 
of Friends," but both were fashionably at- 


tired. I remarked this unexpected circum- 
stance to an elderly respectable Quaker. 
"They are both young%" answered he; ** youth 
and wisdom do not always go together." — 
Not a word was uttered, during the space of 
an hour, by any individual in the congrega- 
tion : all had their hands clasped together, 
and their eyes fixed on the floor. The lovers 
appeared like two statues, immoveable and 
inanimate, at each other's side, without ven- 
turing to steal a glimpse at any thing that 
passed around. At length service was over; 
and, upon a certain sig'hal, the whole meeting 
rose, when the bridegroom, turning towards 
the bride, asked in a loud voice if she would 
become his wife, and fulfil all the obligations 
incumbent on a faithful spouse. The bride 
put nearly the same question to him, after 
which both parties signed the marriage con- 
tract, which was read aloud by one of the 
elder Quakers. Any one might then witness 
the instrument ; during which ceremony the 
congregation dispersed. The new-married 
couple, with their parents, then left the 
meeting-house, to spend the honeymoon in 
travelling through some parts of the country. 
On returning to New York, late in the fall, 
I already found winter amusements in full 


operation. Among the principal recrea- 
tions then in vogue was the Italian Opera. 
Several leading* men in the higher circles 
had, in the course of the year, entered into 
arrangements for building an Opera-house, 
exclusively intended for the performance of 
Italian music. It was reasonably anticipated 
that, in a city with a population of two hun- 
dred and thirty thousand inhabitants, of 
which a great proportion are Europeans, a 
taste for the Italian school would sufficiently 
prevail, to support the expence of an Opera. 
An enterprizing individual was selected and 
despatched to Europe, for the purpose of en- 
gaging vocal and instrumental artists. On his 
return to New York, in the autumn, he found 
the Opera-house so far ready, that he was 
soon able to open it, as he hoped, under 
distinguished patronage, with several new 
operas. The house, built with some taste, 
unquestionably deserves the rank of the finest 
theatre in the United States. The propor- 
tions and arrangements of the interior have 
been calculated with the ability of an expe- 
perienced artist, and the ceiling, in parti- 
cular, cannot be sufficiently admired for its 
beauty and lightness. 

In the course of the season, several operas 


were performed, namely : La Gazza Ladra, 
II Barhiere di Sevlglia, La Donna del Lago, 
Mathilde di Shabran, Gli Arahi nelle Gallie, 
II Matrimonio Segreto, and // Turco in Ita- 
lia. Fanti and Bordogni were the two 
principal singers : both contended for the 
palm of prima donna. The first had a fine 
and full voice, formed by good instruction and 
much practice. Bordogni, again, had a weak 
contralto, of which much might be made, her 
method being unobjectionable, though the 
voice was not yet developed. The remaining 
artists, of whom the company was composed, 
had, in truth, no great pretensions to talent 
as singers : both tenors were, to use the ex- 
pression of a severe critic, "very, very bad." 
In a word, the execution of Rossini's and 
Cimarosa's masterpieces was far from what 
might have been expected, and the performers 
were little above mediocrity. The orchestra, 
however, was good. 

That the New Yorkers, in general, have a 
real taste for music, is a thing I am not in- 
clined to doubt ; but the result of the per- 
formances this season was certainl}^ far from 
encouraging to the Italian corps. The house 
was seldom more than half filled, although 
new operas were constantly performed : and 


the manager, the indefatigable manager, in- 
stead of acquiring any thing bordering on a 
fortune, contracted, as report says, only a 
heavy debt for his pains. Reasons were as- 
signed for this apathy to good music, such as 
the high price of admission, the depression 
in the money-market, mediocrity of the per- 
formers, &c. These objections may have 
some claim to truth ; still they are insufficient 
to remove the inference that, however much 
amateurs may call out, '' Bravo ! Bravissimo !" 
at each air sung by Fanti and Bordogni, and 
however much Fashion may endeavour to 
take unappreciated music under its special 
protection, still New York is not yet ripe for 
an Italian Opera. 

Besides the Opera, there are three other 
theatres in the city, the Park, Bowery, and 
Richmond Hill. The first formerly ranked 
highest among American theatres, but this 
station it seems to have lost by some defect 
in the management. The second devotes its 
boards almost exclusively to the performance 
of national dramas and plays, particularly 
such as are founded on some well known 
Indian story. The last, again, is chiefly 
frequented by the lower classes. Generally 
speaking, American performances, at least 


three-fourths of them, consist of dramatic 
pieces, first acted on the English stage : of 
their merits this is not the place to judge. 
With regard to native American dramas, they 
are, for the most part, wretched productions, 
often resembling hurried juvenile Christmas 
farces. The principal performers in tragedy 
are Booth, Forrest, and Hamblin — in co- 
medy, Hackett and Placide. Among the 
actresses, Drake and M*^Clure occupy the 
first rank. The tragic actors, particularly 
the first two, are not deficient in talent, and 
would, in most countries, gather laurels on 
the stage : they are not, however, exempt 
from faults common to all English performers. 
Hackett is already known in Europe for his 
masterly delineation, by mimickry, of the 
language and manners of the West : of him, 
therefore, nothing can be said but what every 
one knows. Placide possesses ability and 
talent, but, as a comic actor, he has not suf- 
ficient expression to be perfect in his profes- 
sion. This defect he endeavours to conceal 
by overdoing every part, but in the attempt 
he often descends into a kind of vulgarity, 
which can please none but the lower classes. 
As a tragic actress, Mrs. Drake is a star on 
the American stage. Possessing considerable 


natural talent, without having enjoyed the 
opportunity of studying good models, as the 
greater part of her time has been spent in the 
West, she is really an object of admiration. 
She is completely mistress of the art of expres- 
sing every passion by her features, and can 
infuse so much warmth into her performance, 
that when she plays the part of Juliet, for 
instance, the spectator would actually con- 
ceive that he had before him the very ori- 
ginal whom she represents. Mrs. M^Clure 
performs with dignity and force. I never 
saw her tread the stage without imparting 
interest to her performance, and leaving a 
deep impression on the auditory. 

Among foreign theatrical artists who visited 
the United States during my residence, the 
following were particularly distinguished : 
Mr. and Mrs. Wood, Mr. Charles Kemble, 
Miss Fanny Kemble, Mrs. Austin, and INIr. 
Power. W^hoever has heard or seen these 
eminent performers, will certainly never forget 
them. The Woods' Hawthorn and Rosetta* 
the Mercutiof and Julia | of the Kembles, 
Austin's Ariel §, and Power's Pandeen O'Raf- 

• In the Opera of " Love in a Village." 

f ^* Romeo and Juliet." 

I " The Hunchback." § *' The Tempest." 


ferty *, are masterpieces which acquire addi- 
tional value by time. 

The fine arts in America are, as I have be- 
fore observed, still in their infancy. Want of 
encouragement is, no doubt, one of the prin- 
cipal causes of the slow progress they have 
made in comparison with their advance in 
Europe during the same period. Young 
artists are, with few exceptions, obliged to 
have recourse to portrait-painting, in which a 
few have arrived at some degree of distinc- 
tion. Landscapes and historical pieces are 
more scarce; the taste for them not being 
general, the public sets less value upon them 
than they often deserve. This is particularly 
the case in the latter branch. If the picture 
does not represent a scripture subject, the 
majority of spectators invariably object to 
what they call impropriety in the dress of the 
figures, &c. Two paintings, representing 
Adam and Eve, before and after the Fall, 
were exhibited in most towns of the Union, 
and could only insure spectators by being 
called moral paintings ; but, even under this 
veil, they were condemned by many pious 
matrons, who alleged that they had come to 
show their daughters a distinguished per- 

• " Born fo Good Luck." 



formance, but by no means with a view to 
make anatomical observations on the symme- 
try and proportions of the human form. This 
is also the case with statuaries, who are com- 
pelled either to confine themselves exclusively 
to the lower department of their art, that of 
making- busts, or to settle in foreign countries, 
where they may live by their profession. 
With the young and rising generation in 
America, symptoms of taste for the fine arts 
are here and there discovered ; and, if wealth 
increases in the same proportion as the popu- 
lation, it may be inferred that a new era in 
the arts is at hand. The principal American 
artists now living are, as painters, Trumbull, 
Sully, Alston, Morse, Harding, Weir, and 
Dunlap ; as sculptors, Goodenow and Frazee. 
American literature derives its best w^orks 
from England. Independently of the injurious 
effect which this produces on native perform- 
ances, it has another also — that of forming the 
taste exclusively for English literature. It is 
only lately that the learned have begun to 
think of directing the national taste into a 
different channel, by translations from other 
lanauao-es. An American author has very 
little hopes of being known, unless his works 
come to the country via England, after having 

VOL. II. ^ B 


been first printed, read, and praised there. 
But it must not hence be inferred that the 
United States are without individuals who 
solely and exclusively devote themselves to 
literature ; of these there are numbers. To 
enumerate them, and to criticise their works, 
would require more time than these limits 
permit. I will only mention a few names, 
which stand at the head of an almost endless 
list, and a great proportion of which are well 
known to the reading portion of Europeans : 
Washington Irving, Cooper, Bryant, Mar- 
shall, Dwight, Sedgewick, Paulding, Sigour- 
ney, Flint, &c. 

The newspapers in America form an essen- 
tial part of the literature of the country. 
Their great circulation enables the editors to 
make themselves known. In the United 
States, there are at present not fewer than 
one thousand two hundred daily papers^, 
exclusively of periodicals, the number of 
which is very considerable, and among which 
the '* North American Review," edited in a 
masterly manner, deservedly occupies the 
first place. A number of these papers devote 
their columns exclusively to literary produc- 
tions ; others, again, only give extracts from 

"• Vide "American Almanac for 1834." 


published and unpublished works. That 
portion of the citizens, who, either for want of 
means, or from living too far from large 
cities, cannot procure the latest productions 
themselves, obtain, however, through the 
medium of these newspapers, a superficial 
knowledge of them. 

Without a periodical press, America w ould 
never have made the progress she has made, 
and still continues to make ; for, in so exten- 
sive, so comparatively little cultivated and 
peopled a country, how should discoveries 
otherwise be generally known and diffused? 
Nor would the remote citizen be able to 
judge for himself of the Government and its 
measures. The influence of the journals is 
truly astonishing : even in the larger cities 
there is a degree of anxiety and impatience 
until the newspapers make their appearance. 
To many they are real oracles, whose veracity 
none dare question. Every journal belongs 
to some political party, whose principles it 
advocates ; and many persons have so per- 
fect a reliance on the clearness and correct- 
ness of its views, that they cannot be prevail- 
ed upon to read the papers which espouse the 
opposite side of the question. In many small 
places in the country, it is not unusual to see 

B B 2 


the political sentiments of the people governed 
by the journals of one party, which confirm 
the inhabitants in their opinions by always 
keeping up party-spirit. In the larger cities, 
where the population is considerable, a simi- 
lar monopoly cannot well take place ; but, by 
the number of subscribers, a pretty correct 
calculation may be made of the general opi- 
nion and feeling on the spot. 

The greatest number of newspapers and 
periodicals are published in New York and 
Boston. In 1833, they amounted in Boston 
to eighty-one, and in New York to sixty-five ; 
in this calculation are not included periodi- 
cals, published quarterly or at longer inter- 
vals. In New York, the newspaper entitled 
the " Morning Courier and New York En- 
quirer " has the greatest number of sub- 
scribers, amounting, in the year 1834, to four 
thousand three hundred. The annual sub- 
scription was ten dollars. 

According to the present population of the 
United States, it may be calculated that there 
is one newspaper for every ten thousand 
eight hundred persons, which is a greater 
proportion than in any other country in the 

On the 25th of November, 1833, the fiftieth 

trades' union. 373 

anniversary of the evacuation of New York 
by the English was celebrated by a parade 
of the military, and a procession of the differ- 
ent trades through the principal streets. The 
latter ceremony was not without effect. Each 
trade had its particular ensigns or colours, 
and was headed by the elder members. To 
my great surprise, I did not see a single indi- 
vidual indifferently dressed, and whose ap- 
pearance did not announce the enjoyment of 
comfort. After having made the customary 
exhibition, they entered a church or chapel, 
where an appropriate speech was delivered, 
which was hailed with delight by all present. 
*' In human nature," said the speaker, '' reigns 
a selfish principle, which induces men to avail 
themselves of the industry of others, without 
giving a corresponding share in return ; this 
principle conduces to aristocracy and oppres- 
sion. In this country, the laws do not 
acknowledge any privileged class ; yet a 
progressive and unequal accumulation of pro- 
perty, which no law could possibly anticipate, 
has produced nearly the same baneful effect 
as a titled and hereditary aristocracy. This 
evil could only be checked by the formation 
of a union between the labouring classes, for 
the purpose of insuring to them a reasonable 



remuneration for their labours. To counter- 
act this tendency to aristocracy, to prevent a 
kind of monopoly, to effect a greater equality 
in society, to assist those who are unem- 
ployed, to raise the character and improve 
the situation of the working- classes ; in a 
word, to protect their rights as men and 
citizens — this is the object of this union." 

Of a very different description were the 
processions of the militia and its opponents, 
who had formed a society with a view to 
ridicule the whole militia system. The laws 
enjoin that American citizens, with few excep- 
tions, shall contribute to the defence of the 
country. The militia, as it is called, which is 
equivalent to the European conscription, has 
formed itself into several small companies, at 
times drilled by their officers. Free-born 
Americans are not over and above satisfied 
with an institution which subjects them to 
slavish obedience, and therefore endeavour, 
by every means in their power, to exhibit the 
system in so unfavourable a light, as to com- 
pel Government, if possible, to relinquish it 
altogether, or at least to make some more 
suitable regulations. 

Another attempt of this nature was now 
carried into effect by a procession of indivi- 


duals, fantastically dressed, having a chief at 
their head. " The parade of fantasticals of 
yesterday," says one of the newspapers of 
New York, in describing the scene, " was an 
exhibition sui generis— there never was aught 
like it before on earth, or in the waters under- 
neath it. It was Babylon broken up— the whole 
kitchen cabinet of Beelzebub in insurrection 
— a perfect kaleidoscope of absurdities, and 
a magazine of monstrosities." 

Every one, from the general down to the 
simple musician, wore a uniform, all unlike 
each other in appearance. There was a Don 
Quixote as well as a Sancho Panza— a Ro- 
binson Crusoe as well as a Jack Downmg. 
To give a correct description of this carnival, 
or draw from obscurity all the ridiculous 
figures which formed the members of this 
caricature-like procession, would be impos- 
sible. Suffice it to say, that the tout ensemble 
afforded a hearty laugh to all the citizens of 
New York ; and there ceased all the good it 
did, for no change or relaxation in the militia 
system was effected by this exhibition. 

The present militia in the United States 
amounts to one million three hundred and 
sixfeen thousand one hundred and fifteen men. 
The regular army, again, consists of six thou- 

376 TAXES. 

sand four hundred and twelve men ; of whom 
three hundred and ninety-three are cavalry, 
one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight 
artillery, and three thousand two hundred and 
twenty-five infantry ; besides recruits, who, 
from the 1st of January to the 30th of Sep- 
tember, 1833, were computed at two thousand 
and thirty-six *. 

No direct taxes are paid in the United 
States to the Federal Government ; but it is 
^supported by the revenue arising- from the 
customs, which has, in later times, by an in- 
creasing trade, amounted to so considerable 
a sum, that not only almost the whole of the 
national debt has been liquidated by it, but also 
the current expences of the year, always on the 
increase, have been discharged by its aid.f 
Thus it is free to every one in America to 
contribute to the maintenance of the Federal 
Government, either by small or large sums. 
The contributions from towns are naturally 
larger than from the country, and I am in- 
clined to think that the former are nearly in 
the proportion of one and a half to the latter ; 

• It may here be interesting to make an approximate statement 
of the army of the United States and tliat of Sweden : 


Populatiou . , . . 13,000.000 Population, nearly . . 3,000.000 
Army 6.412 Army 32,694 

f The expences for the Federal Government itself, without taking 



it is, however, impossible to state this with 
any degree of accuracy. On the other hand, 
there is a direct property-tax in favour of the 
State in which the citizen resides, or in favour 
of the city or tow^n where he is settled. In 
the country, these funds are applied to the 
maintenance of public roads, to all possible 
internal improvements, to the remuneration of 
the clergy, to the building of schools, &c. In 
the towns again, the revenue is appropriated 
to the embellishment of the city, in some 
places to the building of schools, as in the 
case at Boston, where the authorities of the 
city have set aside, for one year, the sum of 
forty thousand dollars for the erection of two 
new schools. The taxes in New York have, 
of late years, been rather considerable, owing. 

into account 

the annual 

payment in extinction of the National Del 

were under 


Dollars, Cents. 




9,872,643 51 




9,784,154 59 




10,330,144 71 




11,490,460 4 




12,562,316 30 




12,653,095 65 




13,296,041 45 




12,669,490 62 




13,229,533 33 




14,777,991 51 



- about 

, 18,000,000 






in part, to the extra charges to which the 
city was subject during the prevalence of the 
cholera, and partly to the widening of streets 
and improvements of every kind, which were 
considered indispensable in the midst of a 
dense population. In Cedar Street, for in- 
stance, a tax of no less than one thousand 
two hundred dollars was laid on the proprie- 
tor of two houses to defray the expence of 
widening the street to the distance of a few 
hundred yards. 

This taxation varies, however, in different 
towns. In Pennsylvania it is principally laid 
on real estate, and in a very small propoi'tion 
on floating capital. Although this mode of 
taxation is far from being founded in equity, 
it has, nevertheless, in that part, been attended 
with good results, inasmuch as it has induced 
a great number of capitalists to settle there ; 
and their large expenditure has been advan- 
tageously circulated among the lower classes. 
This is not the case in Massachusetts, where 
all are taxed alike, and the imposts fall equally 
heavy on real estate and on personal property ; 
but the consequence has been, that many 
capitalists have quitted the State, for they 
here paid one thousand five hundred dollars 
in taxes, whereas in Pennsylvania the assess- 



ment would not amount to more than thirty 
or forty dollars. This assessment is annually 
made by men appointed by the Legislature 
for that purpose. They tax the citizens 
according to what they consider them to be 
worth. Complaints of too high assessment 
are seldom heard of, because the complainant 
would, in such a case, be compelled to state on 
oath the actual amount of his property. Rather 
than make such a disclosure to the world, the 
Americans submit to a taxation assessed at 
hazard, if not too high. This explains an 
observation, often repeated by strangers, that 
no where is it more difficult to find out the 
real property of an individual than in the 
United States of North America. 


Private credit is wealth — public honour is security — the feather 
that adorns the royal bird supports his flight ; strip him of his 
plumage, and you fix him to the earth. 


Of all the events that occurred in the United 
States, during* my residence of two years, 
there was none which created greater sensa- 
tion, caused a greater degree of bad feeling be- 
tween two parties already excited against each 
other, and had more important results, than 
the remarkable contest carried on by Presi- 
dent Jackson against the Bank of the United 
States, occasioned, in a great measure, by 
personal animosity to the institution and its 
president, and which will figure in history by 
the name it already bears, namely, ''Jackson's 
responsible experiment." But, in order to 
understand this subject thoroughly, and to 
convey a correct idea of the attack and de- 
fence of the contending parties, it is necessary 
that I should abandon the present for a mo- 



meiit, and retrace, succinctly, occurrences of 
former times. 

It is to the system of credit that the Ame- 
ricans are, in no small degree, indebted for the 
incredible progress which industry, in various 
branches, has made in the country. This sys- 
tem was already in full operation during the 
dominion of the British : at the conclusion of 
the war of Independence, it became still more 
prevalent in the new Republic, from an aug- 
mented spirit of speculation on the part of 
the inhabitants. Banks were formed in num- 
bers, and the States were ever ready to grant 
them charters. Subject to no control or in- 
spection, these banks soon began to issue 
notes to any amount they pleased, and inun- 
dated the country with their paper. 

Abuses, often repeated, created distrust in 
the public mind, which shortly afterwards 
produced the effect of overthrowing these 
unsafe establishments, one after another. A 
kind of National Bank was instituted, as far 
back as 1781, under the name of the " Bank 
of North America," but it did not answer the 
purpose intended ; and, in 1790, the United 
States' Bank was formed, upon the plan sug- 
gested by Alexander Hamilton. The Govern- 
ment at that time held a different opinion 


as to the usefulness of National Banks from 
that entertained by the present Administra- 
tion. '• The Secretary of Finance respectfully 
reports," says Hamilton, in his well-known 
Report to the House of Representatives, of the 
13th of December, 1790, " that, from a con- 
viction that a National Bank is an institution 
of primary importance to the prosperous ad- 
ministration of the finances, and would be of 
the greatest utility in the operations con- 
nected with the support of the public credit, 
his attention has been drawn to devising the 
plan of such an institution," &c. In another 
place, in the same Report, he says : " The fol- 
lowing are among the principal advantages 
of a Bank. 1. The augmentation of the active 
or productive capital of a country. 2. Greater 
facility to the Government in obtaining pecu- 
niary aids, especially in sudden emergencies. 
3. The facilitating of the payment of taxes, 
&c." '*! am firmly persuaded," says againMr. 
Taney, Secretary to the Treasury, in his Re- 
port to Congress of the 3rd of Dec. 1833, " that 
the existence of such a powerful moneyed mo- 
nopoly is dangerous to the liberties of the 
people and to the purity of our political insti- 
tutions." Further: '*A Bank of the United 
States is not necessary, either for the fiscal 

UNITED states' BANK. 383 

operations of the Government, or the public 

The Charter granted to the United States' 
Bank expired in 1811. Application was 
made for a renewal for an additional period, 
but Congress refused it, on the ground that a 
similar institution was considered as tending 
to a moneyed aristocracy. At that time the 
country was divided between two parties, 
who took up the Bank question as a subject 
in the solution of which they intended to have 
a struggle for life or death. Three years, 
however, had hardly elapsed, before the same 
man* who had so zealously fought against 
the Bank proposed to Congress the forma- 
tion of a new Bank, as the only means of re- 
storing public confidence, and saving the 
Treasury from an embarrassing and even 
helpless situation. " Such had been the im- 
pressive lesson taught by a very brief but 
fatal experience," says M^Duffie, in his re- 
port of the 13th of April, 1830, to the House 
of Representatives, " that the very institution 
which had been so recently denounced, and 
rejected by the Republican party, being now 
recommended by a Republican Administra- 
tion, was carried through both branches of 

• Mr. Madison, at that time President. 

384 UNITED states' bank. 

Congress, as a Republican measure, by an 
overwhelming- majority of the Republican 
party." The minor Banks were no longer 
able to make payments in specie ; their stock 
of paper increased every day. None of their 
notes had a fixed value, some bringing only 
eighty, sixty, even fifty per cent. Bankrupt- 
cies followed in close succession, and loud 
condemnations of the whole Banking system 
were every where heard. In this emergency, 
the present United States' Bank was insti- 
tuted : it commenced its operations in 1817. 
Its head-quarters are Philadelphia, but it has 
Branch Banks in every part of the Union. In 
no place within the United States, however 
distant, is a higher discount than one quarter 
per cent, paid for a note issued by this Bank.* 
Its capital was fixed at thirty-five millions of 
dollars, of which the United States owe one- 
fifth. According to an Act of Congress, all 
funds received by the Treasury were to be 
deposited in this Bank, without interest : for 
these exclusive privileges, the Bank of the 
United States had only to pay a bonus of 
one million and a half of dollars. The collec- 
tion of the funds of the nation was therefore 
to be effected upon the plan, that the Treasury 

• Vide M<=Duffie's report above referred to. 


department should never retain in its coffers a 
larger sum, at a time, than was absohitely ne- 
cessary for actual and current disbursements : 
the surplus funds were to be lent to the nation. 
Two years had scarcely passed, before the 
country already felt the salutary effect of this 
useful institution. Commerce increased w^ith 
incredible rapidity; agriculture, and every 
branch of industry, seemed to flourish ; the 
National Debt was gradually liquidated, with 
perfect ease to Government; confidence, within 
and without, became consolidated ; and the 
currency was placed upon a more solid foot- 
ing. With nearly twenty millions in specie, 
(the aggregate stock of silver and gold in 
America,) Bank notes to the amount of eighty- 
six millions were put in circulation, besides 
five hundred millions in private notes, private 
Bank notes, &c. Every thing rested on con- 
fidence ; and of this the new Bank was in 
perfect possession. Such was the situation 
of the country, when a motion was made in 
Congress to renew the Charter of the Bank, 
which expires on the 3rd of March, 1836. 
The proposal was adopted by both Houses, 
and only required the assent of the President 
to become a law ; his sanction, however, was 
refused, although, in his message to Congress 

VOL II. c c 


of the 6th December, 1831, he states that he 
had resolved to leave the investigation of this 
matter in the hands of an enlightened people 
and its Representatives. On the 14th July, 
1832, his veto on the Bill followed ; but this 
death-blow was not enough : he wished, more- 
over, to make sure of its extinction, and issued 
accordingly to Mr. Duane, the then Secretary 
of the Treasury, an order to remove the Go- 
vernment deposits from the Bank of the 
United States to State Banks. This gentle- 
man, not conceiving himself justified in adopt- 
ing a step, in direct opposition to his own 
conscientious opinion and views, tendered his 
resignation. The President immediately re- 
placed him by Mr. Taney, who, without hesi- 
tation, acquiesced in the measure determined 

On the 1st of October, 1833, the removal 
of the deposits took place from the Bank of 
the United States to thirty-six different State 
Banks, with small capitals, and chartered by 
the States in which they were situated. In 
the month of September, the Bank had in cir- 
culation notes to the amount of eighteen mil- 
lion, four hundred and thirteen thousand, 
two hundred and eighty-seven dollars, seven 
cents : its discounts at the same period were 


sixty-two million, six hundred and fifty-three 
thousand, three hundred and fifty-nine dollars, 
fifty-nine cents, which, after the removal of 
the deposits, was reduced to sixty million, 
ninety-four thousand, two hundred and two 
dollars, ninety-three cents. In October, there 
were still in the vaults of the Bank nine mil- 
lion, eight hundred and sixty-eight thousand, 
four hundred and thirty-five dollars, fifty- 
eight cents, in deposits. The amount of bul- 
lion, at the same period, was ten million, six 
hundred and sixty-three thousand, four hun- 
dred and forty-one dollars, fifty-one cents. 

The consequence of this measure, on the 
part of the President, in the opinion of many 
both uncalled-for and arbitrary, was soon 
felt. He had adopted it without consulting 
any experienced or practical man ; he had, 
according to his own words, taken the re- 
sponsibility upon himself: on him alone, 
therefore, fell the general discontent. The 
Bank was obliged, in consequence of a re- 
duced amount at its disposal, to limit its dis- 
counts. The State Banks, again, although in 
possession of the funds of the nation, did not 
venture to discount more than formerly, being 
uncertain how long they might be permitted 
to keep the deposits ; and too extensive an 
' c c 2 


accommodation, they conceived, might pos- 
sibly place them in a dilemma, the more to be 
feared as they had, in the Bank of the United 
States, to deal with a powerful opponent. 

Each party placed itself in a state of de- 
fence, determined to guard ag-ainst surprise 
in case of attack, and thus large sums were 
withdrawn from circulation. The wheel of 
credit soon began to make its revolutions less 
regularly. Pressure in the money market 
was first felt in New York, Boston, and Phi- 
ladelphia, where from one to three per cent, 
per month was paid : in a short time it also 
spread all over the country, and from Maine 
to Louisiana only one voice was heard : " Woe 
to the author of all this evil !" About sixty 
bankruptcies took place in New York, and 
other cities in the Union had their proportion. 
Several Banks stopped payment, and thou- 
sands were ruined. Public funds fell from 
forty to fifty per cent., and all kinds of goods 
became depreciated in value. Factories were 
shut up, and workmen discharged. This is 
indeed a sorry picture in comparison with 
that presented by the United States only a 
few months before this crisis. The currency 
of the country was in confusion, commerce 
lingering, manufactories were stopped, and 


agricultural produce was of far less value 
than before. In a word, confidence had disap- 
peared, calamity stood at every other door, 
always threatening to enter the house. De- 
putations of all classes were sent to Wash- 
ington to entreat the President to desist from 
his ruinous experiment. At first he received 
them graciously, which was the case with a 
deputation of merchants and traders sent from 
New York, with a petition signed by six 
thousand persons ; others he dismissed rather 
angrily ;* and at last he refused to receive 
them at all, and to hear the complaints of the 
people, f 

Congress, however, met on the 2nd of De- 
cember, 1833 ; and the President, in his mes- 
sage to both Houses, on the 3rd of December, 
and also the Secretary of the Treasury, in 
his Report, were not dilatory in defending the 
removal of the deposits. Among many things 
advanced in the last mentioned document, 1 

• To the deputation from Baltimore he used the following laii- 
gnafre: '' Relief, Sir ! — come not to me. Sir; go to the monster, Ni- 
cholas Biddle ! Sir, 1 could have destroyed the monster in tiiirty 
days ; but the President would not do it. Andrew Jackson lives yet 
to put his foot upon the head of the monster, and crush him to the 
dust. The mammoth has bled you. When I put him down. Sir, 
the other moneyed institutions will meet all the wants of the people. 
It is folly in the extreme to talk to me thus. Sir ! I would rather 
undergo the tortures of ten Spanish lnc|uisitioiis, than that the de- 
])Osits should be restored, or the monster be re-chartered," 

t This was the case with a deputation from Boston. 


have selected the following* : *' The Act in- 
corporating the Bank is to be regarded as 
a contract between the United States, of the 
one part, and the stockholders, of the other. 
As these stockholders have agreed that the 
power reserved to the Secretary of the Trea- 
sury over the deposits shall not be restricted 
to any particular contingencies, the order, 
therefore, of the Secretary of the Treasury, 
directing the public money to be deposited 
elsewhere, can in no event be regarded as a 
violation of the contract with the stock- 
holders, nor impair any right secured to them 
by the charter. It is, besides, not necessary 
that the deposits should be unsafe in order to 
justify the removal. The Bank may be per- 
fectly solvent, and prepared to meet promptly 
all demands upon it ; and yet the public inter- 
ests may require the deposits to be with- 
drawn." The principal complaints advanced 
by the Secretary of the Treasury were : 1. A 
curtailment of the discounts on the part of 
the Bank, and its conduct towards the State 
Banks, by which they were obliged to confine 
their operations, and the whole country was 
subjected to a great money-pressure. 2. The 
exclusion of the five Bank Directors appointed 
by (Government. 3. The attempt of the Bank 



to influence the elections, by circulating large 
sums, and thereby to acquire a political influ- 
ence in the country. 

In reply to these accusations, the Bank 
endeavoured to prove, in a Report signed by 
its directors, that, from the period of its 
foundation, it had exclusively devoted its 
attention to the improvement of the currency, 
to the maintenance of public credit, and to 
the granting of every facility to trade ; that 
the Government at Washington had already, 
as far back as 1829, attempted to make the 
Bank its organ ; but that, when this scheme 
miscarried, the Government vowed hatred and 
vengeance against the Bank ; that it would 
have been the duty of the President to attack 
the Bank legally before competent judges, in 
case he considered that it had committed any 
infraction of its privileges : now, it is himself 
who has broken the contract, by the removal 
of the deposits without legal cause. '' The 
President avows," continues the same Report, 
^' that, although the last Congress passed a 
bill re-chartering this very Bank ; although 
the same Congress, a few months ago, at his 
own invitation, declared that the public de- 
posits might be safely continued in this 
Bank ; although a new Congress, many of 


whose members are chosen by the people 
since his own election, is about to meet in 
ninety days, and will continue in existence 
for two years ; although, at the end of those 
two years, a new Congress, fresh from the 
people, will meet before the charter expires : 
yet, notwithstanding all this, he, the Pre- 
sident, declares, on his own responsibility, 
that the deposits shall be removed ; no 
matter whether the conduct of the Bank has 
been good or bad, and no matter whether the 
deposits are safe or unsafe ; and accordingly 
he dismisses the officer who refuses to remove 
them, and appoints another who will remove 
them." At the end of this interesting docu- 
ment, the following is said : ''A war of unex- 
ampled violence has been waged against the 
Bank. The institution defends itself. Its 
assailants are what are called politicians ; 
and, when statements which they cannot an- 
swer are presented to the country, they re- 
proach the Bank with interfering in politics. 
It has, however, never interfered in the slight- 
est degree in politics, and never influenced or 
sought to influence elections ; but it will not 
be deterred by the menaces or clamours of 
politicians from executing its duty in defend- 
ing itself." 


Several of the principal statesmen in the 
country, such as Clay, Webster, Calhoun, 
were of the same opinion as to the Bank; 
and their speeches in the Senate, and, I may 
add, those of Binney in the Lower House, 
operated powerfully on public opinion against 
the President and his cabinet. " We are in 
the midst of a revolution," says Clay, in his 
speech ; " a revolution hitherto bloodless, but 
rapidly tending* towards a total change of 
the pure republican character of the govern- 
ment, and to the concentration of all power 
in the hands of one man. The general cur- 
rency of the country, the life-blood of all its 
business, is in the most imminent danp-er of 
universal disorder and confusion. The power 
of internal improvement lies crushed beneath 
the veto of the President. Was the removal 
of the deposits in conformity with the con- 
stitution and laws of the United States ? 
The charter of the Bank of the United States 
requires that the public deposits be made in 
its vaults. It also gives the Secretary of the 
Treasury power to remove them; and why? 
The Secretary is at the head of the finances 
of the Government. Weekly reports are made 
by the Bank to him. He is to report to Con- 
gress, annually ; and to either House, when- 


ever he shall be called upon. He is the Sen- 
tinel of Congress, the Agent of Congress, the 
Representative of Congress. He has been 
created by Congress. Congress has pre- 
scribed and has defined his duties. He is 
required to report to them, not to the Pre- 
sident. He is put there by us as our Repre- 
sentative : he is required to remove the de- 
posits when they shall be in danger, and we 
not in session : but, when he does this, he is 
required to report to Congress the fact, with 
his reasons for it. Was the urgency for the 
removal of the deposits so great that he could 
not wait sixty days, until the assembling of 
Congress ? He admits that they were per- 
fectly safe in the Bank ; that it promptly met 
every demand upon it ; and that it faithfully 
performed all its duties. Why not, then, 
await the arrival of Congress ? The Bank 
has been accused of aiming at political influ- 
ence in the country. Who can doubt," con- 
tinues Clay, ironically, " that this ambitious 
corporation is a candidate for the next presi- 
dency ? The President thought he had the 
Bank in his power, and that he could break 
it down at a word. The Bank has avowed 
and openly declared its purpose to defend 
itself on all suitable occasions. And, what 


is still more provoking, instead of being- a 
bankrupt, as was expected, it seems that it 
has got more money than it is known what 
to do with." 

" Three months have elapsed, and the 
Secretary has not yet found places of deposit 
for the public moneys, as substitutes for the 
United States' Bank. He has not even yet 
received the charters from all the Banks 
selected as places of deposit. Can any thing 
be more improvident than that the Secretary 
should undertake to contract with Banks, 
without knowing their power and capacity 
to contract by their charters ? that he should 
venture to deposit the people's money in 
Banks/* without a full knowledge of every 
thing respecting their actual condition ? The 
eyes and the hopes of the American people 
are anxiously turned to Congress. They feel 
that they have been deceived and insulted ; 

' In the United States, there are, if I mistake not, more than three 
hundred Banks : of these, the State of New York has eighty-two, 
with a capital of about thirty miUions of dollars. The proportion of 
silver to notes in these Banks is as seven cents to one dollar. Sixty- 
nine of them belong to the "Safety Fund," as it is called, the system 
of which is to require of each Bank an annual tax of one per cent, 
on its capital. By these means a fund is created, which, in case of 
the failure of any IBank, is appropriated to the payment of its debts ; 
should this a})prication not be necessary, the fund is finally divided 
among the Banks. This sounds very well on paper ; but the ex- 
ecution is rather hazardous. Space does not permit me to point out 
all the dangerous consequences attending this system : suffice it to 


their confidence abused ; their interests be- 
trayed ; and their liberties in danger. They 
see a rapid and alarming concentration of all 
power in one man's hands. They see that, 
by the exercise of the positive authority of 
the Executive, and his negative power ex- 
erted over Congress, the will of one man 
alone prevails, and governs the Republic. 
The question is no longer what laws will 
Congress pass, but, what will the Executive 
not veto ? The premonitory symptoms of 
despotism are upon us ; and, if Congress do 
not apply an instantaneous end effective 
remedy, the fatal collapse will soon come on, 
and we shall die — ignobly die ! base, mean, 
and abject slaves — the scorn and contempt 
of mankind — unpitied, unwept, unmourned !" 
In consequence of this, and after an unusu- 
ally long debate on this important question, 
the Senate declared twice, and the last time 

say, that, if the United States' Bank^ which kept all other Banks in 
order, had not existed, those wliich stand under the control of the 
Safety Fund would not only have destroyed each other by too fjreat 
an issue of notes, whit-h would have deteriorated in value, but ruined 
the whole cc^iuitry by the disappearance of metallic currencv, to make 
room for a great proportion of paper money. ^' I have {rreatdoubfs, 
if doubts they may be called," says Mr. Calhoun, in his speech in 
the Senate of the 13th of January, 1S34, " as to the soundness and 
tendency of the whole system, in all its modifications I have f^reat 
fears that it will be found hostile to liberty and the advances of 
civilization — fatally hostile to liberty in our country, where the 
system exists in the worst and most dangerous form." 


by a great majority, that the reasons assigned 
by the Secretary of the Treasury for the 
removal of the deposits were insufficient, and 
that these funds should be restored to tlie 
Bank of the United States. Attempts were 
repeatedly made in the Senate to renew the 
charter of the United States' Bank, and reso- 
lutions to that effect were sent to the other 
House ; but the government party there had 
still the ascendency, and therefore rejected 
the proposal of the Senate. It was, however, 
this subject which alone absorbed the atten- 
tion of Congress for several months ; till the 
Bank and its affairs were forgotten, to make 
room for a still more important question — 
the violent infraction of the constitution and 
laws by the President himself "What is 
the real question which now agitates the 
country?" says Calhoun, in his speech; "I 
answer, it is a struggle between the Execu- 
tive and Legislative departments of the 
government — a struggle, not in relation to 
the existence of the Bank, but which, Con- 
gress or the President, should have the power 
of creating Banks, and the consequent con- 
trol over the currency of the country. With 
men and money, Caesar struck down Roman 
liberty at the battle of Philippi ; with money 


and corrupt partisans, a great effort is now 
making* to choke and stifle the voice of Ame- 
rican liberty. When the deed shall be done, 
the revolution will be completed ; and all the 
powers of our Republic, in like manner, be 
consolidated in the President, and perpetu- 
ated by his dictation."* 

On the 28th of March, 1834, the Senate 
declared solemnly that the President had 
assumed a power which had neither been con- 
ceded to him by the Constitution nor the 
laws, but was diametrically opposed to its 
provisions. To defend himself against these 
serious and loud charges, the President sent 
a protest, in the form of a message, to the 
Senate, dated the 17th of April, with a fur- 
ther explanation, bearing date the 21st of 
April, in which he says that he has been ar- 
raigned and condemned unheard for treason, 
in having violated the laws and constitution 

* The dangers incident to the liberties of a countr}-, when sword 
and purse are left in the hands of the Executive, have been con- 
firmed by the experience of all ages. " It would indeed be little less 
than a miracle," says Alexander Hamilton, in his Report, already 
mioted, " should the credit of the Bank be at the disposal of the 
Government, if, in a long series of time, there was not experienced 
a calamitous abuse of it. It is true that it would be the real interest 
of the Government not to abuse it ; its genuine policy to husband 
and cherish it with the most guarded circumspection, as an ines- 
timable treasure. But what government ever uniformly consulted 
its true interests, in opposition to the temptations of momentary 
exigencies ? What nation was ever blessed with a constant suc- 
cession of upright and wise administrators ? " 


of the country. After adducing a variety of 
arguments in his favour, he concluded this 
remarkable document by formally protesting 
against the resolutions of the Senate, as irre- 
concileable \vith the spirit and meaning of the 
constitution. The Senate was a long while 
hesitating whether this protest should be re- 
ceived or not, and declared, at length, by a 
majority of twenty-seven voices against six- 
teen, that the President had assumed an illegal 
power, and that the Senate, not forgetting the 
responsibility which it owes to the people, 
must appeal to the whole nation as to the 
justness of its conduct. 

The warfare, which was thus commenced 
between the President and the Senate, conti- 
nued uninterruptedly till the breaking up of 
Congress. The four Bank Directors appointed 
by the former were not confirmed by the Se- 
nate. General Jackson renewed the same 
nomination, adding his determination, that, if 
they were once more rejected by the Senate, 
he would appeal to the decision of the people. 
Even this language, and his contempt for the 
whole Senate, had no influence on the resolu- 
tions of the Legislative Assembly : the four 
Bank Directors were a second time rejected, 
and with a greater majority than formerly, 


namely, thirty voices to eleven. Several other 
nominations made by the President were 
rejected in like manner by the immoveable 
Senate ; among the most important were that 
of Mr. Taney to the Treasury Department, and 
Mr. Stevenson to the embassy in England. 

A great change in public opinion was, in 
the mean time, effected all over the country 
with regard to the present Administration. 
Several States, which had formerly voted for 
General Jackson, were now severely suffering 
under the effects of his experiment, and joined 
the ranks of the Opposition. The City of 
New York, which at former elections had 
shown a considerable majority in favour of 
the President and his adherents, gave, at the 
election for a Mayor, in 1834, the small ma- 
jority of 179 votes ;* and even this number 
might be questioned, in consequence of va- 
rious illegal acts alleged to have been con- 
summated during the election by the Jackson 

The newspapers, which in America more 
than in any country in the world express the 

* At the election in November, 1832, Jackson had a majority 
of five thousand five hunched and fourteen votes. If the tiillinjj^ ma- 
jority of one hundred and ninety-seven votes be deducted, the actual 
decline of votes will be, in the course of six months, not less than 
five thousand three hundred and thirtv-five. 



real opinions of the nation respecting' the 
measures of Government, ranged themselves, 
for the greater part, on the side of the Oppo- 

In the City of New York, with a population 
of about two hundred and thirty thousand in- 
habitants, there were only two papers which 
advocated the cause of the President against 
eleven daily Opposition papers. In Philadel- 
phia, Baltimore, Boston, and several smaller 
towns, the proportion of those in favour of 
the Administration to those who were against 
it was as one to four, six, even eight. The 
wealthy class of people almost exclusively 
differed in opinion from General Jackson as 
to his political measures. To be revenged on 
these independent citizens for their opposition, 
the Administration Journals called them 
" silk stocking and ruffled gentry." In fact, 
two parties developed themselves in the course 
of this winter, which bore great hatred to 
each other, and involved in one general vortex 
all the petty parties that had hitherto divided 
the country among themselves. Jacksonmen, 
Anti-Jacksonmen, National Republicans, De- 
mocrats, Anti-Freemasons, &c., disappeared 
altogether, and made room for Whigs and 
Tories, the former of whom constituted the 

VOL. II. D i> 


Opposition, and the latter supported the pre- 
sent Government. 

During the sitting of Congress, a report of 
the Postmaster General, respecting the state 
of the finances of that department, was laid 
before the legislative body. The nation was 
not a little astounded on observing that the 
Post Office, instead of paying itself, and also 
showing a surplus, was in so ruinous a state 
that, unless an appropriation were purposely 
made by Congress, it would be unable to go 
on at all. At the investigation which took 
place, it was ascertained that the present 
Postmaster General, who entered upon office 
in 1829, had sunk, since that period, indepen- 
dently of the whole revenue of the department, 
the sum left him by his predecessor, amount- 
ing, according to the statement of the former, 
to two hundred and eighty-nine thousand one 
hundred and forty dollars, seventeen cents ; 
but, according to that of the actual one, to only 
two hundred and thirty thousand four hun- 
dred and eighty-nine dollars : and moreover 
eight hundred and three thousand six hundred 
and twenty-five dollars, which he had bor- 
rowed in the name of the Post Office depart- 
ment, without authority from Congress. 

The conveyance of the mails in America is 



contracted for with private individuals at so 
much a year, which is fixed by the Postmaster. 
These sums, at first moderate, were often, be- 
fore the expiration of the contract, by favour 
and for political reasons, doubled, or even 
trebled. The revenue for the year ending 
30th January, 1833, was stated at two mil- 
lion thirty-seven thousand four hundred and 
ten dollars, eighty-one cents ; the expences, 
again, at two million one hundred and twenty- 
three thousand two hundred and eighty-nine 
dollars, forty-two cents ; consequently, there 
was a deficit of eighty-five thousand two 
hundred and seventy-eight dollars, sixty-one 
cents. Upon an average, the expence of con- 
veying by mail, in the year 1833, may be cal- 
culated at seven cents and a half per mile. 
The number of miles over which the con- 
tractors carry the mail was, by the Post- 
master General's statement, computed at 
twenty-six million eight hundred and fifty- 
four thousand four hundred and eighty-five; 
the Committee, again, who investigated the 
accounts of the Post Office department, fixed 
the mileage at only twenty-one million one 
hundred and fifty-six thousand eight hundred 
and forty-four. 

The short sitting of Congress did not permit 

D D 2 


a further inquiry into the subject, and it was 
postponed till next session. The following 
statement may not prove uninteresting to 
some of my readers. 

In the year 1790, there were only seventy- 
five Post Offices in the country, and one thou- 
sand eight hundred and seventy-five post- 
roads. The revenue arising from postages 
was then thirty-seven thousand nine hundred 
and thirty-five dollars. 

Post Offices. 

Post Roads. 


















Congress at length adjourned on the 30th of 
June, and the members returned to their dif- 
ferent homes, after having done nothing in 
the important matter which shook the founda- 
tion of the States. Both parties appeared 
resolved not to yield a point; and in this dis- 
position they parted, determined to influence 
their constituents in different districts in 
favour of their own political views. The 
Opposition founded its hopes on the elections 
in the fall, when they expected to have the 
upperhand, so as to command a majority in 
Congress. The friends of the Administration 
again continued to decry the Bank as the 
author of the existing money-pressure. It 


will be seen, at the end of the year, which is 
the victorious party, Whigs or Tories, the 
Senate or the President. 

I had now only a few days left to remain 
on the free soil of America ; they were marked 
by the tribute which the nation paid to the 
memory of Lafayette. The friend and com- 
panion in arms of Washington was now no 
more. The melancholy intelligence had been 
brought by the last European packet. Every 
American felt the profoundest grief; lamenta- 
tions resounded from all parts of the country. 
But the New Yorkers were the first who cele- 
brated his obsequies by a procession. " We 
mourn the man,'' said they, " who, at the age 
of nineteen, came over to us from a foreign 
land, at a moment when we had neither re- 
sources nor credit — when our feeble army was 
in want of clothes and arms. W^e mourn the 
man who, notwithstanding all this, placed 
himself in our ranks, and bled in our cause." 

The 26th of June was fixed as the day on 
which the ceremony was to take place. Early 
in the morning all the shops were closed, and 
flags waved half mast-high on all the ships in 
port, and on all public edifices. The bells of 
the churches tolled nearly the whole day, and 
the Dead March was heard in every street 


through which the procession moved. The 
windows were filled with old men, women, 
and children : with men, who still remembered 
Lafayette fig ting in the cause of freedom ; 
with women, who had not forgotten the ve- 
nerable General when, but a few years ago, 
he visited the United States; with children, 
who had been taught, from their cradle, to 
place in their prayers the name of Lafayette 
immediately after that of Washington. The 
procession was probably the largest ever seen 
in New York. It was composed of all classes 
of citizens, from the mayor down to trades- 
men, strangers, clergymen, and officers. 
About six thousand men of the regular army 
and militia were under arms. 

At Castle Garden, a kind of funeral cere- 
mony was performed by the Protestant 
bishop, on which occasion an oration w^as de- 
livered, enumerating, in suitable terms, the 
principal and most important epochs in the 
life of the deceased. In a word, the tribute 
paid to the memory of Lafayette was worthy 
of a great and grateful people. He was truly 
looked upon as the champion of liberal prin- 
ciples, and will, for ages to come, live as such 
in the memory of the American people, as well 
as in that of every other liberal nation. 


The time had now arrived for my depar- 
ture. On the 8th of July, I embarked, and 
before morning I was already out of sight of 
the hospitable shores of America. A long 
and tedious voyage brought me agani to the 
British shore ; and thence, by the first Ame- 
rican packet on the eve of sailing, 1 b.d my 
friends on the other side of the Atlantic a 
long— perhaps a last — farewell. 


Academy of Cadets, at West Point, i, 
60 — course of instruction at, G2 

Adams, John Quincy, some account of, 
i, 216 — interview with him, 218 

Alabama river, beauty of its scenerv, ii, 

Alarm, nocturnal, ii, 280 

Albany, pleasant trip to, ii, 255 — origin 
of the city, 2 '8— bustle in, 259— in- 
habitants of, 260 — railroad from, to 
Saratoga, 261 

Alleghany Mountains, appearance of the, 
ii, 143 

American architecture, remarks on, i, 

American Bible Society, some account 
of, i, 249 

American Constitution, remarks on, ii, 

American hospitality, ii, 176 

American Institute, a society for the en- 
couragement of manufactures, i, 236 

American pilot, picture of one, i, 16 

American prisons, remarks on, ii, 192 
— the penitentiary system, 194 — Au- 
burn prison, 196, 218 — prison at 
Singsing, 197 — prison at VV ethers- 
field, 217 

American literature, state of, ii, 369 

Americans, political informa'ion of, ii, 
100 — difference in their character, 178 
— manners of the, 180 — dancing, a 
favourite amusement of, 181 

American stage-coaches, i, 66 

Amusement, cruel, ii, 326 
Anecdote of a steamboat, ii, 2oij 
Annapolis, an insignificant town, i, 307 
Anniversary of July 4, its celebration 

on board an American ship, i, 7 
Argument, a conclusive one, ii, 244 
Arkansas, territory of, ii, 102 
Ash, white, its effect on the rattlesnake, 

i, 377 
Athens, village of, i, 81 
Auburn, some account of the prison at, 

ii, 196, 217 
Augusta, river, excursion up the, i, 409 
, improvements in the town of, 

i, 410— cotton stores at, 411— bustle 

in, 412 

Backwoodsman, history of a, ii, 281 
Ball in America, described, i. 220 
Ballovv, an old man, dies of cholera, i, 

152, 154 
Ballston Spa, celebrity of, ii, 269 
Baltimore, appearance of the city of, 
i, 2:)5 — its attractions to the traveller, 
296 — the Roman Catholic Church at, 
297 — monument of Washington at, 
298 — national monument at, 299 — 
death of Charles Carroll at, 300— in- 
crease in the population of, 307 — hu- 
miliation of slaves at, 308 — commerce 
of, 309 — projected rail-road at, if>. 
Bankruptcies, in New York, ii, 370 
Banks in the United States, ii, 381 
Banks at Philadelphia, i, 271 



Baptists, doctrines of the, i, 171 — meet- 
ing of the, at New York, 172 — in- 
crease of, 175 

Bathing, sociable, ii, 52 

Battery at New York, i, 26 

Bay, spacious, at New York, i, 17 — In- 
dian tradition respecting it, ]9 

Beaufort, small town of, i, 403 

Ben Franklin steamer, described, ii, 125 

Betsy, a negro woman, sold, i, 325 

Beverley, persons hung for witchcraft 
at, 1S6 

Black Hawk, a celebrated Indian chief, 

Blennerhassett's Island, ii, 140 

Boarding-houses, in America, arrange- 
ments of, i, 33 

Boilers, bursting of, in steamers, ii, 50, 

Boston, cleanliness at, i, 43 — approach 
to, 127 — cottages and churches of, 
128 — advantageously situated for com- 
merce, 129 — originally called Tri- 
mountain, ib. — spacious harbour of, 
130 — appearance of the city, ib. — nar- 
rowness of the streets, 131 — the State- 
house at, ib. — Chantrey's statue of 
Washington, 133— neglected prome- 
nade at, 134 — fair singers at, 135 — 
Faneuil Hall, 136— the market, 137 
— the Freemasons' Lodge at, 139 — 
night serenade at, 151 — Relief Asso- 
ciation at, 155 — public institutions at, 
157— Peace Society at, 162— state of 
education at, 164— freedom of religion 
at, 1G6— distinction between the sects, 
167 — the seat of the Unitarians, 178 
— beauty of the environs, 209 — Ja- 
maica pond, 210 — Cemetery at Mount 
Auburn, near, 26. — University of Cam- 
bridge, near, 213 — account of Nahant, 
near, 219 — reception of the President 
at, 232, 236 

Breakneck Hill, cataract at, i, 190 — fate 
of a party of Indians at, ib. 

Brighton, celebrated cattle-fair at, i, 222 

Broadway, the principal street at New 
York, described, i, 30 

Brooklyn, naval station of, i, 232 

Bryant, lines by, i, 39 

Buffalo, trip to, ii, 303 — prosperity of 
the place, 307 

Bunker's Hill, at Boston, i, 184 

Cjidets, Academy of, at West Point, i, 
60 — instruction at, 62 

Calhoun, speeches of, ii, 105 

Cambridge, University of, near Boston, 
i, 213 

Canada, population of, ii, 335 — emigra- 
tion to, 336 — proprietors of land in, 
337 — religion in, 338 — derivation of 
its name, ib. — descendants of French 
settlers in, 339— excursion from Mon- 
treal to Quebec, 340 — government of, 

Canadian Indians, ii, 330 

Canal-boats, described, ii, 277, 286 

Canandaigua, situation of the town of, ii, 

Capitol, at Washington, described, i, 
310— ii, 152 

Carolina, South. See South Carolina. 

Carroll, Charles, his death, i, 300 — 
sketch of his career, 301 — tribute to 
his memory, 303 — description of his 
funeral, 304 

Cascades, near Pine Orchard, visit to, i, 
72 — remarkable tree near, 73 

Catskill, i, 66 — journey from, to Pine 
Orchard, 67 

Cemetery at INIount Auburn, near Bos- 
ton, described, i, 211 — 

at Wicacoa, i, 292 

at Plymouth,described,ii,246 

Chantrey, his statue of Washington, i, 

Charleston, advantageous situation of, i, 
379 — dilapidated state of the buildings 
at, 380— climate of, 381— trade of, ib. 
—St. Andrew's Society at, 382 

Charlestown, a naval station, i, 181 — 
spacious dock at, 182 — the Constitu- 
tion frigate at, 183— Bunker's Hill at, 
184 — distance from to Lynn, ib. 

Chatahoochee, river, ii, 5 

Chaudiere Falls, near Quebec, ii, 347 

Cherokee Journal, ii, 34 

language, ii, 35 

Chess, game of, among the insane, i, 

Children, uneducated, number of, in 
America, i, 248 — instruction of, in 
the Houses of Refuge, 267 — refor- 
mation of, 270 

Cholera, havoc made by, at New York, 
i, 15, 40, 44 — case of, 152 — subsides 
at, 230 

Church, Roman Catholic, at Baltimore, 
i, 297 

Church, scene round a, in North Caro- 
lina, i, 364 



Cincinnati, epithets applied to, ii, 126 
— nourishing state ofthe city. 127 — 
its situation, 128 — hotel at, 129 — 
Mrs. Trollope's bazaar at, 130 — fame 
of the place, 131 — character of the 
inhabitants of, 132 

Clay, the most popular speaker in Ame- 
rica, ii, 164 

Cleanliness, neglect of, at New York, i, 

Clergymen, on the education of, i, 

Columbus, Captain Basil Hall's account 
of the town of, in 1828, ii, 2 — de- 
scription of, in 1832, 4 

Confinement, first moments of, ii, 221 

Congress, speeches in, ii, 158 — discus- 
sions in, 393 

Conscience, liberty of, in America, i, 
100, 165 

Constitution, American frigate, victo- 
ries of, i, 183 

Cooper's "Notions ofthe Americans," 
extract from, i, 32 

Corn, Indian, singular appearance of, 
1, 365 

Cotton, cultivation of, i, 366 — mode of 
dressing, 367 — trade in, 381 — fine 
kind of, 403 — mode of shipping, ii, 

Cotton factories, girls employed in, ii, 

Creed of the Shakers, i, 92 

Creek Indian, sudden appearance of a, 
i, 431 — degradation of, 432 

Creoles, passionate temper of, ii, 59 — 
their persons described, 60 

Crimes, from intemperance, i, 145 — 
causes of, ii, 216 

Curiosity of the Americans, i, 192 — 
exemplified, 193 

Dance on ship-board, i, 10 
Dancing, a favourite amusement in Ame- 
rica, ii, 181 
Dandy, Negro, at New York, i, 28 
Delaware, journey through the State of, 

i, 293 
Dinner, a singular one, ii, 10 
Diseases, incident to emigrants, i, 201 
Dismal Swamp, some account of, i, 359 
Dock at Charlestown, i, 182 
Dreams, golden, put to flight, i, 427 
Dressing for landing, i, 12 
Drivers, not coachmen, i, 109 
Drunkard, experiment upon one, i, 

Duponceau, Mr. i, 257 
Durant, aerial ascent of, ii, 238 

Earthquake at New Madrid, ii, 113 
East, River, scenery of the, i, 228 
Education, state of, at Boston, i, 164 — 

general state of in America, 241 — 

comparative table of, 245 
Elections in America, i, 281 — remarks 

on the benefit of, 285 — their import- 
ance, 287 
Elysian fields, a beautiful retreat at 

New York,i, 37 
Emancipation of slaves, remarks on, i, 

Emigrants, Swedish, to the banks ofthe 

Delaware, i, 288, 289 
Emigrants, their feelings on leaving 

England, i, 2 — hardships oi', on their 

arrival in America, ii,200 — prospects 

for 203 
Emigration, to the United States, i, 

197 — encouragement given to, 202 

— from Carolina, 363 
Emigration to Canada, ii, 336 
Employment, benefit of, ii, 223 
Erie Canal, completion of, ii, 290 

Fair Mount, Philadelphia, account of 

the waterworks at, i, 276 
Falls of Niagara, visit to the, ii, 313 
Falls of St. Anthony, ii, 76 
Fanaticism, in America, ii, 187 
Fanaticism of the Shakers, i, 89 
Faneuil Hall, at Boston, i, 136 
Farm-houses, in America, comforts of , 

i, 111 
Fayetteville, origin of the town of, i, 

367 — extensive fire at, 368 
Females, attention to in America, i, 51 
Fine Arts in America, ii, 368 
Fir, beautiful species of, i, 373 
Fire, calamitous, at the Richmond The- 
atre, in 1811, i, 321 — monument for 
those who perished on that occasion, 
323— at Fayetteville, 368— on board 
a steamer, ii, 107 — destructive, at 
New York, 185 
Fire-engines, ii, 185 
Fireflies, disappearance of, i, 57 
Firemen in New York, ii, 184 
Flour Mills, at Rochester, ii, 300 
Forests, variety of trees in the, i, 373 
Fort at Cape Diamond, ii, 344 — view 

from, 345 
Fort Mitchell, miserable road to, ii, 9 



Fort of oyster shells, i. 407 

France, neglect of religion in, i, 174 

Franklin, Benjamin, memory of, i, 278 

— visit to his tomb, 279 — letter of, 
ii, 126 

Fredericksburg, bad state of the roads 

near, i, 314 
Freemasons' Lodge, at Boston, i, 139 
Funeral procession, i, 300 

Gamblers, fatal conflict between t\vo,ii, 

40 — in steamers, 110 
Gang of slaves described, i, 429 
Genesee Falls, described, ii, 302 
Genoa, village of, ii, 297 
Georgetown, price of land near, i, 372 

— arrival at, 378 
Georgia, soil of, i, 417 

Goat Island, hermit of, ii, 323 
Goffe, the regicide, i, 117, 118 
Golconda, disappointment respecting, 

ii, 120 
Grog and whisky shops in America, 

i, 144 
Grundy, Mr., on the causes of crime, 

i, 145 
Guide's story, i, 77 

Hall, Captain, his remarks on the Aca- 
demy of Cadets at West Point, i, 61 
Hall of the Representatives, at Wash- 
ington, ii, 155 
Hamburg, a small village, i, 413 
Hat, various uses of the, i, 223 
Hayne, General, Governor of South 
Carolina, i, 383 — his oratorical pow- 
ers, 384 
Helen IM'Gregor, steamer, accident to 

the, ii,44 
Hell Gate, whirlpool at, i, 229 
Heroism, female, i, 191 
Highlands on the Hudson, i, 55 
Hogs, nuisance of, at New York, i, 
42 — enemies of rattlesnakes, i, 
Holyoke, Mount, difficult ascent of, i, 

114 — extensive view from, 115 
Hospitality of the Americans, ii, 176 
Hotels, American, inferior to EuropLan, 

i. 32 
Houses, American, mode of building, i, 

at New York, described, i, 31 

comfortless, in North Carolina, 
i, 362— and at Macon, 421 

of Refuge at Philadelphia, i, 265 

children educated in, 267 

Hudson, beautiful tscenery of the, i, 36, 
38, 51 

elegance of the steamboats on the 

45 — rocks on, called Palisades, 52 — 
surnamed Majestic, 53 — traditions re- 
specting the highlands of the, 55 — 
thunderstorm on the, 58 — excursions 
up the, 65, ii, 254 

Humphries, Solomon, a Negro shop- 
keeper, i, 425 — his hospitality, 426 

Hunting party, Indian, ii, 21 

Husking, entertainment so called, i, 
205, 208 

Hut of an Indian chief, visited, ii, 16 

Hymns of the Shakers, i, 86, 87 

Independence, anniversary of, ii, 252 
Indians, reflections on their disappear- 
ance, i,24, 172 — contiguity to the, ii,15 
— visit to a chief, 16 — hunting party 
of the, 21 — addicted to spirituous 
liquors, 23 — their debased state, 24 
— duties of the chiefs, 26 — their cos- 
tume described, 27 — their persons, 
28 — condition of the women, 29 — 
their religious notions, 31 — vindictive 
spirit of, 32 — carousal of the, 33 — 
farewell to the, 36 — a solitary one, 
103 — estimate of their total number, 
104 — their gradual decrease, 105 — of 
Canada, 330 
Insane, mild treatment of the, i, 261 
Institutions, public, at Boston, i, 158 
Intemperance, baneful effects of, i, 143 

— crimes from, 145 
Inundation, destructive, on the Ohio, 

ii, 135 
Italian Opera, at New York, ii, 363 

Jackson, General, elected President of 
the United States, i, 284 — proclama- 
tion of, 397 — drawing-room held by, 
ii, 166 — his person and manners, 168 
inauguiation of, 169 — accusation 
against, 189 — assaulted, 231 — his 
tour through the Northern and East- 
ern States, 232— his reception at New 
York, 233 — his journey to Boston, 
235 — his reception there, 236 — h.i 
visit to Lowell, 251 — his responsible 
experiment, ii, 380 — his hostility to 
the Bank, 389 — charges against, 398 
— opposition to, 401 

Jamaica Pond, beauty of, at Boston, i, 

Jeff'erson, his remarks on American 
architecture, i, 140 



Kenhawa River, the Great, ii, 13G 
Kentucky traveller, conversation with 

a, ii, 37 
Knickerbocker, his account of the situ- 
ation of New Amsterdam, i, 20 
Knowledge, progress of, i, 177 
Kosciusko, monument to his memory, i, 

Labour of prisoners, ii, 212 
Labourers, scarcity of, i, 206 
Ladies, fashionable, dress of, ii, 271 
Land, joy on beholding, i, 11 —prices of, 
in the United States, 189— purchase 
of, 202 

Lottery in Georgia, i, 419 

Lebanon Springs, account of the, i, 83 — 
description of the religious sect at, 
called Shakers, ib. 
Lafayette, intelligence of his death, ii, 

405 — tribute to his memory, 406 
Lee, Ann, the founder of the religious 
sect called Shakers, i, 85 — her fana- 
tical ravings, ?6. — worshipped as the 
Redeemer, 86 — strange commands 
issued by, 87, 88 — miracle said to be 
wrought by, 90 — arrives in America, 
91 — her death, ib. 
Life, human, carelessness of, ii, 81, 108 
Literary institutions, at Philadelphia, i, 

Little Falls, romantic situation of, ii, 287 

— scenery near, 288 
Lockport, village of, ii, 306 
Logan, the Indian chief, cruelties to- 
wards, ii, 137 — remarkable speech of, 
138 — his assassination, 139 
Long Island, extent of, i, 17 
Long Level, plain of, ii, 289 
Lottery offices, numerous, at New York, 

i, 231 
Louisiana, legislation of, ii, 70 

steamer described, ii, 83 

Louisville, Nourishing condition of, ii, 

Lover, strange picture of one, i, 22 
Lowell, prosperity of the town of, ii, 
248 — cotton manufactories at, 249 
— visit of General Jackson to, 251 
Lyceum at Boston, i, 157 
Lynn, boots and shoes manufactured at, 
i, 184 

Macon, desolate approach to, i, 418 — 
description of the environs, 420 — 
sraallness of the houses, 421 — dan- 
gerous state of the streets, 422 — 

commerce of the town, 423 — mild- 
ness of the climate at, 424 — Negro 
shopkeeper at, 425 
Maine, aspect of the country in, i, 189 
— soil of, 196 — worth of timber in, 199 
Mammoth, skeleton of the, i. 273 — In- 
dian tradition respecting, ib. 
Manchester, in Mississippi, search for, 

Manhattoes, derivation of the name, i, 

19, 53 
Manufactures, exhibition of, at New 

York, i, 237 
Market at Boston, described, i, 137 
INIarketing in America, ii, 138 
Maryland, tradic in slaves in, i, 308 
Massachusetts, a rich and flourishing 
state, i, 108 — aspectof thecountry,110 
Matrimony, argument against, i, 87 
Meeting of the Shakers, particular ac- 
count of it, i, 98 
Miasma, fatal, i, 27 6 
Militia system, in America, ii, 374 
Miracle, a modern one, i, 90 
Missionaries, Christian, efforts of the, 
i, 173 — dangerous interference of, 
343, 351 
Mississippi River, description of the, ii, 
72 — source of the, 74 — its tributary 
streams, 75 — Falls of St. Anthony, 
on the, 76 — its general features, 77 
— reflexions on the, 78 — its various 
aspects, 79 — steamboat accidents on 
the, 80 — walls on the banks of, 85 — 
sugar-plantations along the, 86 — dif- 
ficulties of its navigation, 83 — wreck 
of a steamer on, 90 — snag-boat on 
the, 91 — consumption of fire-wood on 
the, 94 — unhealthiness of its banks, 
96— adieu to the, 116 — junction of 
Ohio with the, 117 
Mobile, fires at, ii, 44 — trade of, 45 
Montgomery, journey to, ii, 38 — affrays 

at, 40 
Montmorency Falls, near Quebec, ii, 346 
Montreal, appearance of, ii, 332 — pub- 
lic buildings of, 333 — convents at, 
334 — population of, 335 
Mount Auburn, cemetery at, described, 

i, 211 — view of Boston from, ib. 
Museum at Salem, i, 186 
Music, fine, at Boston, i, 135 
Muskets, manufactured at Springfield, 
i, 119 

Nahant, a public resort near 
i, 219— curiosities at, ib. 




Natchez, town of, ii, 92 

National debt, amount of, ii, IGl 

Navy of the United States, stations of, 

i, 232 
Negro boatmen, i, 371 — songs of, 378 

faiihionables at New York, i, 27 

— their extravagant dress, ib. — flirta- 
tion among, 28 

festival at New York, ii, 253 

Negroes, free-school for, at New York, 
j, 238— privilege of, 239 — creed of 
the, 333 
Negro shopkeeper, at Macon, i, 425 
New Amsterdam, the former name of 

New York, i, 20. 289 
Newbury port, decline in its trade, i, 

New Hampshire, mountains of, i, 187 
New ^ladrid, destructive earthquiike at, 
ii, 113 — a rendezvous for flat boats, 114 
New Orleans, dangers of travelling to, 
i, 414 — description of the city of, ii, 
53 — cotton trade of, 54 — the port of, 
55 — various nations at, 56 — gro- 
tesque scene at, 57 — population of, 
58 — affray at the French Opera 
House at, 59 — advantageously situ- 
ated for commerce, 63 — yellow fever 
at, 64 — mildness of the weather at, 
65 — diseases at, 66 — mortality at, 
67 — political festivity at, 69 — sitting 
of the legislature at, 70 
Newport, much frequented in summer, 

ii, 239 
News-boats, at New York, i, 14 
Newspapers, in America, ii, 370 
New York, havoc made by the cholera 
at, i, 15, 40, 152 — spacious bay at, 17 

— beautiful view of, 18 — Knicker- 
bocker's account of the city, when 
called New Amsterdam, 20 — reflec- 
tions on its modern state, 23 — the 
Battery at, 26 — Negro fashionables 
at, 27 — description of Broadway, 30 

— appearance of the houses, 31 — its 
singular locality, 32 — the principal 
hotels, ib. — boarding-houses at, 33 — 
strange mode of life at, 34 — increased 
population of, 35 — view of the Hud- 
son from, 36— the Elysian Fields, 37 

— grandeur of the scenery at, 38 — 
neglect of cleanliness at, 41 — hogs in 
the streets, 43 — desolate appearance 
of, 44 — steamboats from, 46 — extra- 
ordinary number of TemperanceSoci- 
eties in the State of, 147, ii, 242 — 
arrival of the President steamer at. 

i, 229 — cholera subsides at, 230 — 
bustle and activity in, 231 — number 
of lottery oflices at, ib. — naval station 
of Brooklyn, near, 232 — society at, 
for the encouragement of manufac- 
tures, 236 — Negro free-school at, 238 

— general state of education at, 240 

— School Agents' Society at, 217 — 
Bible Society at, 248 — journey from 
Washington to, ii, 183 — firemen, 184 
— fanaticism at, 188 — destructive fire 
at, 185 — the President's reception at, 
233 — accident on the occasion, 234 — 
anniversary of independence at, 252 
— Italian opera at, 363 — theatres at, 
365 — Trades'Unionat,373 — burlesque 
procession at, 375 — taxes at, 377 

Niagara, passage over the, ii, 308 — 

Falls of, described, 313 — the Rapids 

of, 317 
Norfolk, some account of the town of, i, 

356 — coach from, 357 — DismalSwamp 

near. 358 
North America steamer, elegantly fitted 

up, i, 47 — punctuality of, ib. 
Northampton, waste lands near, i, 109 

— delightfully situated, 112 — trade 
of the town, ib. 

North Carolina, aspect of, i, 361 — un- 
comfortable houses in, 362 — emigra- 
tion from, 363 
Nullification, debates on, ii, 160 
Nullifiers, their opposition to the new 
Tariff, i, 385 — compromise with the, 

OfHcers, American, their gentlemanly 
character, i, 234 

Ohio, river, its junction with the Mis- 
sissippi, ii, 117 — scenery on the, 118, 
134 — destructive inundation of the, 

Ontario, Lake, extent of, ii, 328 

Oyster-shells, fort of, i, 407 

Palisades, or rocks, on the Hudson, i, 62 
Palmetto-tree, luxuriance of the, i, 406 
Passaic, fall of the, near New York, i, 235 
Patterson, rise of the town of, i, 234 — 

cataract at, 235 
Pawtucket, cotton-factories at, i, 224 
Peace Society at Boston, objects of, i, 

Peale's Museum, at Philadelphia, i, 272 
Penitentiary system, remarks on, ii, 191 
Penn, William, bronze statue in honour 

of, i, 263 



Pennsylvania, democratic constitution 
of, i, 28G 

• American man-of-\var,280 

Hospital, at Philadelphia, 

described, i, 259 — mild treatment of 
the insane at, 261 
Performers, theatrical, at New York, ii, 

Philadelphia, a nocturnal drive through, 
i, 253 — disagreeable quarters, at, 254 
— a cocjuettish city, ib. — aspect of, 
255 — disposition of the streets, ib. — 
disadvantageously situated for com- 
merce, 256 — literary institutions at, 
257 — the " Wistar Parties," 258 — 
Sunday School Association at, 259 — 
account of the Pennsylvania Hospital, 
ib. — statue of William Penn at, 263 
— houses of refuge at, 265 — education 
at, 267 — benevolent institutions at, 
27 1 — public buildings at, 272 — Peale's 
Museum, ib. — the Statehouse, 274— 
romantic environs of, 275 — descrip- 
tion of the waterworks at Fair ^Nlount, 
276— tomb of Franklin at, 279— elec- 
tion of President at, 280 — church of 
Wicacoa at, 291 — new prison at, ii, 
219, 226 
Philip, King, an Indian warrior, bis in- 
trepidity and noble daring, i, 227 
Pilot, American, described, i, 15 
Pine Orchard, journey from Catskill to, 
i, 67 — magnificent view from the hotel 
at, 69, 70 — visit to the cascades near, 
Plymouth, islands near, ii, 245 — ceme- 
tery at, 246 
Pompey, a slave, anecdote of, i, 337 
Pontchartrain, steamer to, ii, 48 — en- 
trance to the lake of, 51 
Population of New York, increase in, i, 

Portland, state of the streets in, i, 195 
Portsmouth, state of the town from 
fire, i, 188 — prediction respecting, 
ii, 136 
Postmaster General, report of, ii, 402 
Post-offices, number of, ii, 404 
Potomac, river, grandeur of the scenery 

of the, i, 312 
Presbyterians of Rochester, ii, 301 
President, account of the election of, i, 
280 — proclamation of the, 397 — in- 
auguration of the, ii, 169— assault on, 
Presidential Palace at Washington, de- 
scribed, ii, 151 

President, steamboat, excellent accom- 
modations of, i, 225 

Prisoners, labour of, in America, ii, 
212, — first moments of confinement, 

Prisons in America, ii, 192 — disci- 
pline in,214 — results of different ones, 

Promenade, deserted, at Boston, i, 134 

Providence, some account of the town 
of, i, 224 

Purgatory and Paradise, ii, 240 

Putnam, Fort, near West Point, i, G3 

Quaker, a jovial one, ii, 355 

wedding, described, ii, 361 

Quarteroons, descended from Negroes, 

ii, 60 — marriages among the, 61 
Quebec, journey from Montreal to, ii, 
341 — description of the city of, 343 
— fort of Cape Diamond at, 344 — 
Montmorencv Falls near, 346 — the 
Chaudiere Falls, 347 
Queenston, village of, ii, 327 
Quincy, near Boston, residence of J. Q. 
Adams at, i, 216 

Railroad, projected, at Baltimore, i, 30:j 

grand one, ii, 147 

to Saratoga, ii, 261, 268 

to Schenectady, ii, 266 

Railroads, great number of, in the 
United States, ii, 202 — list of, 265 

desirable in the Southern 

States, i, 317 
Rattlesnake, killed, i, 76 — extraor- 
dinary story of one, ib. 
Rattlesnakes, abundant in the northern 
woods, i, 374 — enemies of the, tb. — 
remedy for their bite, 375 — mode of 
defence against, 376— effect of white 
ash on, 377 
Relief Association, established at Bos- 
ton, i, 154— rules of, 155 
Religion, freedom of, in America, i, IG6 
Rice-fields, unhealthy situation of i 

Richmond, its picturesque situation, i, 
318 — visit to the Capitol of, 319 — 
statue of Washington at, tb. — the 
Courthouse. 320 — account of the 
dreadful fire at the theatre of. in ISll. 
321 — monument at, for those who 
perished on that occasion, 323 — ac- 
count of a slave auction at, 324 — 
creed of the Negroes at, 333— to- 
bacco manufactory at, 351 



Rideau canal, extent of, ii, 329 

Rip Van Winkle, his long slumber, i, 

Rivers, danger of crossing, i, 360 
Roads, execrable, in the Southern States, 

i, 108, 314, 360 
Rochester, population of, ii, 299 — 

flour mills at, 300 — Presbyterians 

of, 301 
Rodney, small town of, ii, 93 

Sabbath, disregarded in France, i, 174 
St. Andrew's Society, benevolent ob- 
jects of, i, 382 
St. John's, town of, ii, 350 
St. Lawrence, river, scenery of the, ii, 

Salem, its trade and navigation, i, 185 

— museum at, ib. 
Santee, the great and little, passage over 

the, i, 370 
Saratoga, railroads to, ii, 261, 268 — 

the resort of invalids, 270 — visiters 

to, 272 — quality of the waters at, 

Savannah, excursion to, i, 402 — first 

view of, 407 — description of the town, 
Schenectady, railroad to, ii, 206 — 

beauty of the environs of, 267 
School discipline, i, 268 
School Agents' Society, at New York, 

i, 247 
Schoolmaster, the haunted, i, 54 
School for Negroes, at New York, i, 

Schools, great number of, in the State 

of New York, i, 241 
Schools of the Shakers, i, 96 
Schuylkill, beautiful shores of the, i, 275 

— fatal misasma arising from, 276 
Scott, Sir Walter, tribute to his me- 
mory, i, 383 
Sea-island cotton, superiority of, i, 403 
Sea-life, its uniformity, i, 2 
Sea-monster, its reported appearance, 

near Nahant, i, 221 
Sects, religious, distinction between, 

i, 167 
Senate, composition of the, ii, 163 
Senate Hall, at Washington, ii, 157 
Serenades, nocturnal, at Boston, i, 150 
Sermon of the Shakers, i, 103 
Serpents, Indian remedy for the bite of, 

i, 375 
Sexes, intercourse between the, ii, 1H2 

Shakers, a religious sect, visit to a vil- 
lage of, i, 84 — disposition of their 
houses, lb. — some account of their 
origin, 85— founded by Ann Lee, t6. — 
their hymns, 86 — singular ceremo- 
nies of, 87, 89 — rulers of the society, 
91 — their creed, 92 — rules and re- 
gulations among the, 93 — their oc- 
cupations, 94 — effects of their doc- 
trines, 95 — schools of the, 96 — ac- 
cusation against, 97 — their costume 
described, ib. — particular account of 
their meeting, 98 — principles of the, 
102 — sermon of the, 103 — tobacco- 
smoking festival of, 104 

Shore, busy preparations for going on, 
i, 12 

Singsing, particular account of the pri- 
son at, ii, 197 

Situation, a perilous one, ii, 146 

Sketch Book, by Washington Irving, 
extracts from and allusions to it, i, 18, 
54, 68 

Slaves, extensive traffic in,i, 308 — auc- 
tion for the sale of at Richmond, 325 — 
general remarks on their condition in 
the United States, 335 — lives of the, 
339 — desertion of, ib. — incapable of 
appreciating the blessings of liberty, 
341 — crimes of the, 343 — emancipa- 
tion of, 345 — prejudices against them, 
346 — abject state of, ib. — picture 
of a female, 404 — arrangements re- 
specting, 405 — description of a gang 
of, 429 — narrative of one, 430 

Sleepy Hollow, described by Washing- 
ton Irving, i, 54 

Snag-Boat, on the Mississippi, ii, 91 

Snow-storm, ii, 123 

Sodom, village of, lawless pursuits of the 
inhabitants of, ii, 7 

Solitude, benefits of, ii, 222 — effects of, 

South Carolina, opposition of to the 
New Tariff, i, 385 

South Hadley, waterfalls at, i, 117 

Speeches in Congress, ii, 158 

Spirits, imported into the United States 
in 1824 and 1830, i, 147 

Springfield, gun-manufactory at, i, 118 
— account of it, 119 — prosperity of 
the workmen at, 121 — the locksmith 
of, 123 

Squatters, on the Mississippi, ii, 94 — 
picture of one, 97 — his dislike to 
neighbours, 99 



Stage uoacli at-cidents, i, 315, il6, i'-^t!, 
ii, 145 

companions, ii, 24 i 

conversation in one, i, 193 

Stage-coaclies, American, described, i, 

Stale-House, at Boston, description of, 
i, 131 

State-House, at Philadelphia, historical 
recollections attached to it, i, 274 — 
election of President in, 282 

Statesmen, eminent, in America, ii, 

Statistics, a lecture on, ii, 122 

Steamboat accidents, ii, 80, 82, 101 

annoyances, ii, 49 

Steamboats on the Hudson, elegance 
of, i, 46 — punctuality of, 48 — lug- 
gage on deck of, 49 — passengers in, 
50— number of, on the Western Ri- 
vers, ii, 82 — wreck of one, 89 — fire 
on board one, 107 — company in, 109 
— gambling in, 110 — scenes on deck, 

Storm at sea, description of its effects, 
i, 4 

Storm, awful, ii, 309 

Sugar Plantations on the banks of the 
Mississippi, ii, 86 

Sunday School Association, at Phila- 
delphia, i, 259 

Susquehanna river, course of the, i, 294 

Swedish colony, ancient, i, 289— con- 
quered by the Dutch, 290 

Tariff, new, opposition of South Caro- 
lina to the, i, 385 

Temperance Societies, establishment of, 
i, 146 — ii,242 

Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, ii, 

Thunder-storm on the Hudson, i, 57 

Timber, worth of, i, 199 

Tobacco, its cultivation in V^irginia, i, 

manufactory at Richmond, vi- 
sit to, i, 354. 

'Jobacco-smoking Festival of the Sha- 
kers, i, 104 

Towns, singular names given to, ii, 

Trades' Union, at New York, ii, 373 

Tiavellers, late European, ii, 179 

sleeping, ii, 142 

picture of two, ii, 12 

Travelling, accidents in, i. :^l<; 

TiuvellinK '» '''^' Southern Sfatts, 
dangers of, i, 414 

Tree, a remarkable one, near the Cas- 
cades, i, 73 

Trenton, tedious jovirney from New 
Brunswick tc, i, 251 — hotel at, 

Trenton Falls, described, ii, 292 

Trollope, Mrs., her bazaar at Cincinnati, 
ii^ 130 — her disappointment, 131 — 
misrepresentations of, 175 — effect of 
her writings, 177 

Unitarians at Boston, their religious 
tenets, i, 178 — do not believe in the 
Trinity, 179 

United States, religious sects in, i, 170 

— emigration to the, 197 — produc- 
tions of the, 204— stations of the na- 
vy of, 233 — general state of education 
in, 241 — condition of slaves in, 334 

— dangerous travelling in, 415 — rail- 
roads numerous in, ii, 262 — taxation 
in the, 376 — banks in the, 381 

Bank, ii, 383 — appli- 
cation to renew its charter, 385 — 
removal of government deposits from, 
386 — complaints against, 390 — do- 
fence of, 391 — discussions in Con- 
gress respecting, 393 

University of Cambridge, near Boston, 
lectures at, i, 21 3 — education of the 
students at. ib. — ceremonies at the 
opening of, 215 

Utica, canal-boat to, ii, 27 7 — picture of, 

Vernon, Mount, ii, 354— description of, 

Virginia, cultivation of tobacco in, i, 

Voting, right of, i, 286 

Ware, a manufacturing place, i, 126 

Washington, Chantrey's statue of, i,133 
— monument to, at Baltimore, 
298 — statue of, at Richmond, 319 — 
tomb of, 359 

appearance of the Capitol 

of, i,310,ii, 152-difficulty of procuring 
accommodations at, i, 149— plan of the 
city, 150 — the Presidential Palace at , 
151 — description of the Hall of Re- 
presentatives at, 155 — the Senate 
Hall, 157 

Water, beneficial influence of, ii, 242 



Webster, sound reasoning of, ii, 1G5 
Wedding of a Quaker, described, ii, 361 
West Point, arrival of the steamboat at, 
i, 59 — Academy of Cadets at, GO — 
romantic scenery round, 63 — Anto- 
ny's Nose near, 64 
West's Picture of the Redeemer, i, 

Wethersfield, some account of the pri- 
son at, ii, 217 
Whalley and Goffe, the regicides, i, 117 

Wheeling, steamboat to,ii, 133 
Wicacoa, account of the church at, i, 

291 — cemetery at, 292 
Winter, mild, at Macon, i, 424 
Wistar Parties, at Philadelphia, i, 258 
Worcester, appearance of, i, 126 
Workmen, wages of, i, 207 

Yankee, speculation of a, ii, 68 
Yankee Doodle, national song of, i, 9 
Yellow Fever at New Orleans, ii, 64. 




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